A study of Seago

From time to time I have a group of painters who visit my studio, several of whom come over from the Dereham area of Norfolk. On their last visit, a few weeks ago, we decided to have a look at an architectural subject as a change from the big skies of Norfolk. Searching round for reference material I thought, where better to look for architecture than Venice, and who better to portray it in watercolour than Edward Seago.

A study of Seago
Joan’s study of Edward Seago’s Venetian palazzo. Watercolour 15ins x 11ins.

So, I found an image of one of Seago’s delightful Venice palazzo scenes. Just a simple building on a canal with a boat and a couple of figures to add interest, but to successfully capture that in paint is not quite as simple as it might look. Drawing is the key to it, as any error of perspective will be glaring in a subject like this. As for those pointy-top windows, they must all be the right size, with the sides vertical and the points all nice and symmetrical – it goes on. We spent a lot of time with a pencil getting everything looking right before any paint hit the paper.

It just goes to show that there is never a bad drawing underneath a good painting. Keep working at your drawing, thinking carefully about every line, and your painting will improve my leaps and bounds.

One of the group, Joan, kindly sent me a photo of her finished piece and I am very happy to share it with everyone. Well done Joan, you’ve succeeded in keeping the painting loose and fresh while maintaining accuracy of drawing, a trick that requires plenty of practice. Keep up the good work!

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