Painting St Leonard’s Wooden Bell Tower

Wooden Tower of St Leonards - ©2015 Cathy Read - Watercolour and acrylic ink - 40x50cm - £570 framed

Some time ago I made a promise to paint St Leonard’s Church in Middleton, Manchester. I have been meaning to paint its Wooden tower for a long time.

The Church dominated my childhood, so it’s a personal perspective.
We learnt about it’s history at school. It’s unique wooden clock tower on a medieval church. The secret passageways used during the reformation with tales of ghosts still haunting them. Not quite the pristine image of church people like to portray.

In short everything that could fire the imagination of a child. I’ve even been to family weddings there. It’s quite a traditional subject matter but think I’ve given it a new perspective.

As usual I begin with the initial drawing.

©2015 - Cathy Read - St Leonards WIP - pencil -50 x 40 cm
©2015 – Cathy Read – St Leonards church work in progress, initial drawing.

Then the painting begins…

©2015 - Cathy Read - St Leonards WIP - Watercolour and acrylic ink -50 x 40 cm HROnce that’s all dry the masking is removed.

©2015 - Cathy Read -Wooden Tower of St Leonards - Watercolour and Acrylic - 50 x 40 cm WIP 2
As you can see in this detail, it all looks very messy at this stage

©2015 - Cathy Read -Wooden Tower of St Leonards - Watercolour and Acrylic - 50 x 40 cm WIP detailPeeling the masking of large areas requires a considered techique and is one of my favourite stages in the whole process.

©2015 - Cathy Read -Wooden Tower of St Leonards - Watercolour and Acrylic - 50 x 40
©2015 – Cathy Read -Wooden Tower of St Leonards – Watercolour and Acrylic – 50 x 40 – £450

Due to my heavy use of masking the picture always undergoes a final transformation. I am always surprised by how the painting looks when it’s finished. I love the not knowing, although it can be pretty scary until you’re sure it has worked.

If you’d like to see me at work in the studio or at one of my exhibitions then check out the news and events. I’m usually demonstrating when I’m present at group shows or open studios. You can even have a play with the materials if you like.

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2 Replies to “Painting St Leonard’s Wooden Bell Tower”

    1. Thank you Kerri! I certainly had fun creating this one, think you can always tell when an artist is really enjoying what they do.

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