I just got back from my annual visit to Toronto for the AGM of the Canadian Society Of Painters In Watercolour. It was a great trip. I grew up in Toronto but I’ve come to appreciate it a lot more in the past few years. I love the energy, the buildings and the life on the streets. Not sure I could live there with the nightmarish traffic but great to visit.
This time I spent most of my time visiting with family and it was really wonderful to connect with my brother and his wife as well as all the nephews and nieces.
I only had one day to get out and paint and it was a lovely day. For some reason I wanted to paint a harbour view. I’ve always enjoyed looking down on Hamilton Harbour from the Burlington Sky Way but of course you can’t paint from there. I went looking for the next best thing and I found this view from the Burlington side of the harbour. The buildings with their lovely reddish brown colour where the sun hit them and all the mass of dark shadows just spoke to me and I finished this painting on location. It was a lovely couple of hours. I painted it inside the car.
Technically speaking it was a very easy painting to do. The mass of dark shadows instantly unified and connected everything so it was very easy to see the big shapes and not get caught up in details. First of all I painted all the buildings in the reddish brown that you see on the roof tops. Then I painted the dark shadows in one go. White gouache created the smoke.
10 minutes past this location I was under the Burlington Sky Way which is a very impressive structure when you’re looking up. Right beside it is the old Burlington Lift Bridge which most people might not even know exists. It actually lifted right up to the top while I was painting it.
When I flew out the next day I had a couple of hours of waiting at the airport. I had my handy little travel palette and did this little study of the airport. The challenge with this was that the only brush I had was the tiny one that comes with the palette. Very hard to get any kind of wash. I’m including it here just because my wife told me that I had to.
Painting on location, especially when it’s a lovely sunny day with the radio on is certainly one of life’s greatest pleasures.
Here are a few random photos from the trip.