St Pancras Twins – Original Painting
About the Painting
They are an odd couple these “twins”. The Japanese visitor poses besides the sculpture of Sir John Betjeman and strikes a similar pose.
You can’t see his wife as she takes a photo but you can see how he’s intent on mirroring the exact posture of the great man. Gazing up at the fabulous roof of pancras. It’s not an understated feature, it’s bold, daring, eye-catching. St Pancras is a building that demands your attention but, as you look, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the detail. There is simply too much to take in. Here I’ve tried but, faced with too much detail, you have to develop a sense of planned neglect.
Dark recesses are hard to see so they are just hinted at.
Textures and patterns dominate the criss cross structure of the roof trusses, The swirling patterns of the corners. alternating ochre and carmine of the brickwork, rapid zigzag paint work on the tourist’s coat, the bleeding indigo of Betjeman’s jacket. All fused together in an energetic fluid mass of colours. Parts are drawn in elaborate details and others are sketchy and just hinted at. The eye is drawn from the two figures and follows the arc of the roof to the top left of the page.
How the image is created: Masking fluid is painted onto watercolour paper to create an image. This is covered with a watercolour wash and covered with clingfilm. The picture is further developed using acrylic inks once the film is removed. The masking is removed after several layers are added and allowed to dry. Revealing the final picture.