The stunning architectures of the city of Oxford have inspired many before me. I was not surprised to find myself wanting to paint the iconic buildings of the city for a new bookmark. Bookmarks are small, therefore great for playing with colours and techniques. This is my approach to painting a bookmark depicting the skyline of this dreamlike city.
I was not too fastidious with the sketch itself; I wanted to get started painting quickly. The piece was going to be mostly monochromatic. I started by making a value drawing in pencil. The lightest buildings are the farthest out and the darkest ones are the closest to the viewer. Once that was done, I started selecting my paints.
For the sky I started with a warm yellow and then tested three blues against that on scrap paper. Since I was painting a late afternoon as opposed to an early evening scene, I chose the warmest of the blue tones.
Daniel Smith Quinacridone Gold is one of my favourites, if not my most favourite. I knew from the very beginning that the buildings were going to be painted in this colour. The closest and therefore darkest buildings got more layers of paint to make them darker than those in the middle or further away. I had to let the each layer dry in between. That, I don’t mind telling you, really tests my patience.
Once I was happy with all the background shades, I added a hint of red to the closest buildings to make them even warmer than the rest. I thought it would be nice to add a few suggestive details to the buildings as well.
Before this painting, I wrote down the paint combinations I used for certain paintings on little pieces of paper, but I could never find them afterwards. I decided to keep a log book starting with this painting, noting down the paints for each one.
I painted the bookmark using watercolour. I would also love to paint a larger and a bit more detailed version of this scene in oil one day.
The bookmark is now residing in between the pages of my current book. Happy Reading!
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Kelleyn Rothaermel June 20, 2018 at 06:10
That really is so lovely!
Connie K Campbell June 18, 2018 at 08:41
Beautiful work Soma! You are so creative1
Sally June 15, 2018 at 08:40
Very pretty – the colors are so inviting.
Nordljus June 14, 2018 at 05:33
Your bookmark looks wonderful, beautifully painted. I’ve visited Oxford a few times, such a great place to spend a day (or more, no doubt). I’ve started keeping a studio journal a while ago. Noting down colours I used is very helpful, especially when coming back to an painting after far too long…
Angie June 13, 2018 at 13:37
This means so much to me because I spent a semester at a school near Oxford … any time I was coming down the hill toward Oxford, I would glimpse this skyline through the trees. You captured it very well – warm, romantic tones!
betty - NZ June 12, 2018 at 16:50
What a wonderful scene and you recreated it so well! I’m sure your book is very happy :)
Lisa Isabella Russo June 12, 2018 at 15:36
Oh wow, that is gorgeous!
Jesh StG June 11, 2018 at 18:04
Beautiful gold glow, Soma:) Love the third and fourth building from the right – it shows the layers so well! Smile – watercolor is an art that asks for patience! Many thanks for sharing this with All Seasons and have a great artsy week!
Lisa June 11, 2018 at 17:24
This bookmark is really lovely. Painting is a mystery to me it’s nice to see how you do it.
Rebecca Grace June 11, 2018 at 09:08
Such a beautiful painting! My bookmarks tend to disintegrate rapidly, so I generally use advertising postcards that come in the mail. Have you ever tried laminating your painted bookmarks to make them more durable? It would be fun to make a special tassel with bead accents to complement the painting…
Roseanne June 11, 2018 at 07:28
What talent you have! I so admire people who can paint or draw, and even more actually do it and share it. Thank you for that, as I sure do enjoy seeing your work and your process.
Happy Monday! ~smile~ Roseanne
nessjibberjabberuk June 11, 2018 at 04:49
I’ve just realised reading this that it has been six years since I lasted visited Oxford. I need to remedy that! I love a cityscape and we have one in similar colours in our dining room of Edinburgh.
Lisa | Handmade in Israel June 10, 2018 at 09:53
Enjoy using it – it’s beautiful!
Jackie June 10, 2018 at 09:07
Carol June 10, 2018 at 04:26
Thanks for sharing your detailed steps in producing a lovely painting. It’s fascinating.
Anne June 10, 2018 at 02:21
I’m not a painter so I find your details really fascinating. I never realised just how much goes into producing a work of art like this. I think keeping everything recorded is a great idea and I will have to start doing this with my crafts.
Oh and the finished piece is beautiful, I’d be happy to have that marking the pages of one of my books.
LeeAnna Paylor June 9, 2018 at 08:11
that is beautiful. Thank you for the steps in creation, it was very clear. Love your paintings!
Lady Fi June 8, 2018 at 22:29
Rasz June 8, 2018 at 16:11
Hi Some. Beautiful bookmark! I love the colors you used and seeing your process! Happy PPF and have a Wonderful Week! Rasz
A ShutterBug Explores June 8, 2018 at 14:47
Beautiful art work and thanks so much for sharing your process to get to this lovely painting!
Happy Weekend to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
Beth June 8, 2018 at 12:54
That is just amazing…. WOW! <3
Sarah June 8, 2018 at 12:00
Lovely art and really detailed behind the scenes ideas from your process! Happy PPF from Number 21 :D
Linda K June 8, 2018 at 10:35
really beautiful. I love that you explained the pencil drawing for perspective along with your paint choices. That quin gold is gorgeous! Happy PPF!
Kate June 8, 2018 at 08:39
What a nice was to use such a beautiful “trial” — loving Oxford!
Mary June 8, 2018 at 08:25
I love reading about your thought processes in your creations almost as much as the outcome. Beautiful.
Christine June 8, 2018 at 07:23
Nicole/DVArtist June 8, 2018 at 06:36
Just beautiful and so well done.
Sal Scheibe June 8, 2018 at 06:28
Wonderful! What a gorgeous skyline! I love the shape of your painting too.
Valerie- Jael June 8, 2018 at 06:18
Your sketch and finished bookmark are both wonderful. Oxford is really a beautiful city. Happy PPF, hugs, Valerie
Kim Sharman June 8, 2018 at 04:42
Another lovely artwork by you, Soma. I always love to see your paintings and the process of each one to its completion. You are so talented!
Carole @ From My Carolina Home June 8, 2018 at 03:37
You are so talented, I really admire artists as I am not skilled in drawing or painting.
Janine @ Rainbow Hare June 8, 2018 at 00:58
This looks great :)
Mascha June 7, 2018 at 21:38
Wonderful and well done!
Wish, I could paint…
Have a nice weekend
Su-sieee! Mac June 7, 2018 at 17:36
A lovely happy bookmark. I appreciate you talking about your process. I stopped to practice dark and light shapes. So cool. I hope you have the opportunity to paint the scene larger and in oils. It would be a Va-va-va-voom! painting.
BillieBee June 7, 2018 at 11:47
Really love your bookmark! I feel some stirring of wanting to paint again…..grin…maybe.
Lori Smanski June 7, 2018 at 08:59
wow this turned out lovely. how cool to have a book mark that you painted yourself.
Dixie June 7, 2018 at 06:43
Your Oxford skyline bookmark looks lovely.
When I look at the bookmark, I find myself contemplating the history that envelopes that area.
I, too, enjoy the beauty of q. gold…a truly wonderful colour.