As I previously mentioned, I wanted to work on a painting of the recent snowstorm which took place in Dundee. I chose this image as I find that the expanse of snowy rooftops is effective at conveying just how much the snow took over the city
(I also how it includes a known landmark, so you can identify that it’s in Dundee).
This made me think of Pieter Bruegel the Elder‘s The Hunters in the Snow in which the high vantage point also accentuates the expansion of snow.
In composing the painting, I chose to emphacise this expansiveness by raising the horizon line and make the houses would extend past the painting. I also accentuated the hill in the foreground and moved around the branches so as to form a spiral composition and create a sense of swelling.
After doing a couple thumbnail drawings, I transferred the image to a roughly A3 sized watercolour paper. I then started covering it in masking tape, which took up most of my week. I decided to be really precise with this, since it makes my job much easier later on. It also allows me to be a lot more abstract in the way I paint it, as I have that solid foudation to rely on. That being said, this has caused me to lose my mind and I can’t look at masking tape the same way anymore.
Bruegel the Elder, Pieter, The Hunters in the Snow, 1565, Oil on wood, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Smith, Zadie, ‘Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s Imaginary Portraits’, The New Yorker, 12th June 2017.