Dancer performing on Embankment, London

"Watching the Dancer", London.
Oil. Alistair Butt © 2008.

I liked the ring of people as they stood watching this young ladies performance on the Embankment in London and the contrast between the busy detailed areas and the open space around the dancer. The bright light from both the afternoon sun and that reflecting off the River Thames (in the background) added to the appeal by adding all the wonderful shadows and contrast.

The painting was produced in a similar manor to that shown in other post on this blog. Though this painting was somewhat less complicated to produce as most of the tones and colours where similar in the more detailed areas requiring less mixing time.

Starting with the background the dark and mid tones (of various colours) of all the figures, railings, barge etc was painted. Moving down, the shadows from the above figures was painted next, before going back and painting in all the highlights - reflected light on the river and on the pavement between the figures and the highlights on those figures requiring it (mainly around the heads). A lot of the above figure painting was done by painting the negative shape (painting the outside of something to create the inner shape).

Painting the dancer and the remaining figures followed the same technique as above, before completing the painting with the foreground shadows and the main highlight.

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