Oil pastel study after Hercules Brabazon Brabazon,1821-1906, the pink palace,Venice
The palaces in Venice have fascinated visual artists of all times. The city has attracted artists from all over the world. Such famous names like Canaletto, Turner,Ruskin,Monet and many more are associated with the image of the lagoon city. In general one would assume there is nothing to discover anymore, but maybe not…
I found a remarkable study of a pink palace in Venice in the Tate archive by an artist named Hercules Brabazon Brabazon The man must have had an interesting life as someone who lived “for art and sunshine” as a gentleman amateur, who denied to sell his work until he was in his mid-seventies. Obviously an enviable existence with considerable capabilities and enough cash to devote his life to the arts without depending on sales.
The gouache study of the pink palace impresses with the strong contrast between the dark framing by houses and posts in the foreground against the pink, pale facade of an old renaissance palace building. The ultramarine sky,shadows on the walls and the moving water surface add to the scenery of a sunny afternoon.
The season is changing from summer to autumn. Temperatures dropped considerably over the weekend. The silhouettes of tress looked almost black against the light of pale sun rays breaking through the grey sky here and there.
On a nice sunny Sunday morning I did this small size oil pastel with my Caran d’Ache set on site. I had to cut the video file down to a time lapse with 8x speed, otherwise the file would be much too big for upload. The support is a paper of 170 gr, I chose a piece of an old monotype print which was covered with green oil color for the most part already. So I was pretty sure that the green landscape would match with the support color that gave me also some help to adjust the tonalities i.e. not getting to bright, which can be a problem on sunny days. However using oil pastels makes it easier to avoid that problem. I know for example that the light blue will always be equivalent to a middle grey tone (in photographers language) and every thing else has to tone up or down from that reference.
I recorded the changes discussed in a previous post in a video, uploaded uncut in HD resolution so viewers can see details in the full screen mode. I use an old hunters knife to scratch off oil pastel color where necessary and for sgrafitto technique. I sat in direct sun on the first really warm day this year with temperatures of ca. 25-27°C.
The surface of the Caran d’ Ache oil pastels (Link to my favorite set Neopastel)gets very soft under direct sun exposure, but they do not melt. I keep the box with the pastels in shade nevertheless. Only very light touch was necessary to put down the colors. In the end after the video was done I removed a small odd shape in a tree top on the very right side, see below the finished study.
Later I will scan the image to get a more true color. The colors in the video are a bit too flat, whereas the Nikon camera is over doing the saturation a bit.
On the weekend I continued with the oil pastel landscape painting in A4 size. The weather was very similar to last week, which was helpful for the as I had to do some changes on the sky. There is still a lot of grey in these very early spring colors and the green are pale and still look bleached out. But that will change soon thank God. The birds are coming back and begin with their mating and breeding activities. The chaffinch are here again since last week. However in the vine yards there are mostly common starlings around at this time of year apart from some woodpeckers. On my way back home I could see the first lizard bathing in the sun.
Saint Gervais,Auvergne, was our first stop on the big southern tour through France,Spain and Portugal beginning last year. It is a charming,small, very quiet place with nice restaurants, a romantic hotel, a bakery, a butcher, a bar and a well hidden supermarket close to the cemetery. The landscape is great and full of Charolais steaks.