Jigsaw puzzle

A few weeks ago I went walking with a friend and our dogs, and we happened upon the most incredible view across Shottermill. The day we walked the weather was stunning, and I knew I had to go back to paint on a similar day, so I impatiently waited...

Opportunity came about a week later, so I got up there as soon as I could to make the most of the sun. While setting up, I was excited by the view still, but I realised it was a massively complicated scene! So many rooftops, chimneys, trees...I had to capture it all while also creating a sense of distance, all the while the sun would be moving around. Add to that a build up of cloud cover over time and I began to feel quite overwhelmed and unsure. 

I made a start on a square board, but soon realised that it wouldn't work if I wanted to get the shed and the sky in, so needed to go taller. On a new board, I placed the horizon line first and then the rooftop of the shed in the foreground, then I placed the features that were larger in size or more eye-catching. It felt a bit like a puzzle; some pieces had to be placed first before I could position others. 

 I'd got the basic shapes in at this point. I honestly felt like running away! I didn't know how I was going to pull it all together, but I just told myself to keep in painting. The information was all there, I just had to have the patience to look, look, look and record.

I'd got the basic shapes in at this point. I honestly felt like running away! I didn't know how I was going to pull it all together, but I just told myself to keep in painting. The information was all there, I just had to have the patience to look, look, look and record.

Luckily the sun stayed out for the majority of the session, but of course the angles of the shadows changed so I had to be mindful of this. I loved how the sunlight caught on Lion Lane and the parked cars pinged with bright light. I wanted the eye to start on the roof of the shed, and jump off down the lane. 

 I was pretty much finished by this point, filling in as may of the blanks as I felt necessary! I added clouds in because I felt a clear sky looked unbalanced against such a busy scene. The roof of the shed is my chosen resting place for the eye.

I was pretty much finished by this point, filling in as may of the blanks as I felt necessary! I added clouds in because I felt a clear sky looked unbalanced against such a busy scene. The roof of the shed is my chosen resting place for the eye.

 'Spring light on Lion Lane' | oil on panel | 12x16"

'Spring light on Lion Lane' | oil on panel | 12x16"

Anyway, I'm glad I persevered - I'm pleased with the outcome!