Commission: Castle Series, no. 6 – Beaumaris

Here’s the last of my six castle paintings – the half-finished Beaumaris Castle. That’s the castle, not the painting that’s half finished… And, of course, the last was the trickiest! There is something to be said for having a good artist’s sketchbook, having the time and patience to use it and then apply what has been learnt onto the canvas. I don’t ‘do art’ quite like that…

Previous paintings in the series:
CaernarfonRaglanCriccieth – Dolwyddelan – Conwy

Beaumaris Castle painting

I’ve used for this painting

  • Generic stretched canvas, 60x60cm
  • Liquitex Professional Spray Paint: Parchment / Brilliant Purple / Dioxazine Purple
  • Black and White Gesso
  • DecoArt Media Ultra Matte Varnish

As I don’t do the whole sketchbook thing – which I ought to – I had to patch things up on the canvas. My first version had all the right things in the right places, but something wasn’t right.

Ignoring the colour cast due to different lighting when taking the pics, there’s two things I reckoned were wrong. The moat was just too light, unbalancing the painting – almost making the castle lean away from the viewer. And the grating reflected in the water was way too detailed, and the gaps too obvious. It became a focal point when it should not have been.

So, I plucked up the courage to potentially spoil the picture and masked off the areas I wanted to keep. Then I got the spray paint out and darkened the moat. Trying to wipe off the wet paint from the shadow areas turned out to be less successful than I hoped. Another piece of ignored advice – before doing something you might want to wipe off, seal with matte varnish first! Especially when working over gesso, which, let’s face it, is designed to let paint stick to it. However, with a bit more touching up, I think I just about retrieved the situation. The castle looms rather than leans, and is restored as the focal point.

All I have to do now is ensure it is the highest painting on the wall so no one can look too closely at it 😉