The Bailey, Durham

The current painting project I am working on is a commission of the Bailey in Durham, an historic area in the centre of Durham. I took advantage of the glorious weather last week to do a couple of sketchbook watercolours and take some reference photographs so that the client can choose exactly the view that captures the scene that holds special memories.

Looking towards the church into the early morning light was an attractive scene, however I felt drawn towards the view in the other direction and did a sketchbook watercolour of the street looking slightly downhill. The paint was drying quickly because of the extraordinarily warm weather, so I was able to complete the study and commence on another sketch. This time I walked towards the church and took up position looking towards the area that I had been standing in for the first painting. Once again, it was an attractive scene which, with the light behind me, created an interesting composition with the fine old buildings and folk walking up the street.

On the way back to the car park, the light was forming some strong sunlight and shadow areas on the south part of Saddler Street which I photographed for reference, as it too, would make a strong painting. Now that I’ve been able to do the sketchbook studies and see the photographs, I’m looking forward to tackling the finished painting of the Bailey.

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