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  • Writer's pictureStuart Jarvis

Concrete Chronicles no.4

Embracing the Shift: From Charcoal to an Introduction of Colour

I'm hoping to gain more recognition than just being known as a charcoal artist. I've received occasional feedback that charcoal black and white can be a bit dull, and the complainants suggest adding more colour to make the work more exciting.

No thanks, I'm not really into painting just for the sake of creating a colourful picture. Besides, monochrome works well when capturing the kind of architecture I love, but painting stirs something in me that drawing cannot match.

So, my newest creation sheds light on the way I work, and the story behind it isn't complicated. I've had this sketch of a Soviet helicopter (First of the three images) lying around for ages. I needed a big square canvas, and using charcoal on it initially didn't quite 'stick'. As you can see, I started off by mapping out the composition with a striking red line.

Then, I tried to work on the whole painting (middle image) without focusing on any specific area - just trying to handle the work as a whole. Starting with acrylics, I reached a point where I felt I'd done all I could.

Not entirely happy with the slightly plastic finish of some colours, I went back to the studio after a few days and decided to layer some oils over it. - And I added some Posca pens for the graffiti on the main column.

The painting captures a quiet, frosty day with minimal traffic (New Year's Day) and a soft winter glow trying to soften the harsh concrete surroundings. My aim? To evoke a dreamy sense of tranquility amidst the stark, brutal architectural landscape.

Who knows, it might just get me back on the telly - by the way, I've applied to be on Landscape Artist of the Year again. I've been trying for a few years now, but no phone call yet. Let's see how it goes this time.

Let me know what you think.

This piece is now up for viewing in Uppingham at Forest Framing.

See you all again next time and thank you for reading!

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