Manchester – Painting Grey without a Grey

©2016-Cathy-Read-Manchester-Science -Museum-Work-in-Progress-detail-Watercolour-and-Acrylic-ink

Painting grey without a grey is a problem.

People often ask my why I use such bright colours.

It’s quite simple really. When I first started creating these pictures I had 8 colours. Magenta, Process cyan, yellow, deep purple, black, white, orange and green.I use the paints neat and rely on them mixing on the page. It means you have to get creative with the process. Like when I did the Barbican.

Since then I have discovered there are more subtle and deeper colours available. I’m adding to them to fill the gaps, yet I cannot bring myself to buy a grey. I always find other colours I NEED more.

Then I go and decide to paint a grey building, with grey pavement and road, like this one.

©2015 - Cathy Read - Manchester Science Museum - Digital image
©2015 – Cathy Read – Manchester Science Museum – Digital image

At this stage, I question why I didn’t as I try to reflect the tones and colours, whilst having only black and white in the right chromatic range. Yes, I could mix them beforehand but that would be too simple, and, I suspect, less interesting.

I like to live dangerously…

With paint at least. That means allowing the paint to mix and do what it will with guidance from me, of course.

Manchester has a reputation for rain.

That is unless you live there, and then you realise the lie. Having said that, there are plenty of grey buildings around. Take the fabulous Science Museum. If ever there was a candidate for the use of grey ink, this is it. But I resisted. This is how I did it.

Here is the graphite image all ready for masking.

©2016 - Cathy Read - Manchester Transport Museum Work in Progress - graphite - 43x59cm

Next we have a close up of the Transport Museum in the early stages of painting.

©2016-Cathy-Read-Manchester-Transport-Museum-Work-in-Progress-detail-Watercolour-and-Acrylic-ink

Then more painting close ups.

©2016-Cathy-Read-Manchester-Transport-Museum-Work-in-Progress-detail-5-Watercolour-and-Acrylic-ink-43x59cm
©2016-Cathy-Read-Manchester-Transport-Museum-Work-in-Progress-detail-5-Watercolour-and-Acrylic-ink-43x59cm

©2016-Cathy-Read-Manchester-Transport-Museum-Work-in-Progress-detail-3-Watercolour-and-Acrylic-ink-43x59cm

Another close up with a group of figures.

Not sure what they were meeting up for. Possibly to visit the museum, but could have been there for many reasons. I’ll let you speculate.

©2016 - Cathy Read - Manchester Transport Museum Work in Progress - detail 2 - Watercolour and Acrylic ink - 43x59cm
©2016 – Cathy Read – Manchester Transport Museum Work in Progress – detail 2 – Watercolour and Acrylic ink – 43x59cm

Finally the overview of the finished painting.

©2016-Cathy-Read-Manchester-Transport-Museum-Work-in-Progress-Watercolour-and-Acrylic-ink-43x59cm
©2016-Cathy-Read-Manchester-Transport-Museum-Work-in-Progress-Watercolour-and-Acrylic-ink-43x59cm

Followed by the finished painting all straightened out and cropped so it looks tidy.

©2016 - Cathy Read - Manchester Transport Museum - Watercolour and acrylic ink
©2016 – Cathy Read – Manchester Transport Museum – Watercolour and acrylic ink

And there you have it! Complete with Beetham Tower. Which always makes me think it’s going to fall over.

Enjoy the rest of your Day, next week I’ll be sharing another experimental piece which I seem to have been working on forever.

You’ll understand why when you see it.

This week I’ll be donning my Gald Rags for Society of Women Artist’s Summer Exhibition. Fortunately, all I have to do now is figure out what to wear you can get your ticket here.  or check out my events page to see what I’m up to next. Or sign up for my newsletter and you can get the latest information plus invitations to the events.

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2 Replies to “Manchester – Painting Grey without a Grey”

  1. Incredible Cathy. I felt like I was there as you walked me through the entire process 🙂 And I love the creative use of colour, as I was reading I wondered if you;d crack and paint grey….

    1. Thanks Sarah. Glad you enjoyed the journey. I’m still wondering when I’ll crack over the grey or take it to the other extreme. who knows, but then, that’s the fun of the creative process!

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