St Mary’s Parish Church Tower, Prittlewell, Southend, Essex

On a trip down to the seaside last week, I took a photograph from the passenger seat of the car of St Mary’s Church Tower in Southend.   The tower of the Church dates back to the 15th century and the Church was founded in the 7th century: it is the oldest and largest parish church in South East Essex and boasts impressive stained glass windows, one of which is believed to be by Albrecht Durer.

The perspective here is a worm’s eye view, where lines far above the eye view are acute. The nearer to the eye level the straighter the lines appear.

To complete this painting you can use a variety of mediums. The mediums I used: pencils, waterproof pens, acrylics, watercolours, gold leaf fast dry craft enamel and permanent inks using a nib pen. I initially drew the tower section of the painting and then drew in the notice board and the wall. I did not draw in the shapes of the trees. I then mixed a base colour for the stonework: yellow ochre, 50%, and white, 50%. I underpainted the tower with a medium yellow and when that was 100% dry applied my wash of stonework colour. I used that as a base to make a further four colours, adding brown in varying degrees to achieve depth of palette. When I had painted the tower I then used waterproof sepia pens to mark in the windows and clock. Windows are an exercise in light and dark and shadow. Place the shadow to one side of the shape to give 3D effect.

I then painted in the sky, I mixed a wash of blue, which had a large paint content, more paint than water. I wet the paper and in sections of the paper used a large round headed brush, circular brushstroke to apply the paint. This was because I did not want a flat wash sky, but wanted to achieve a more random distribution of the paint.

I then mixed an extremely wide variety of greens for the trees – trees have to look 3D and to make that effect happen you have to work in glazes of colour, usually from light to dark. Therefore, underpaint a tree shape with yellow first. Then use a dab brushstroke to represent the leaves using your greens. How I mix greens: take a base colour e.g. sap green. Do not use that, tube greens are unnatural and need another colour to make that look like a naturally growing colour. I add: yellow, red, brown, blue, purple – in varying degrees and sometimes these are overlapped on to each other so my red/green mix may have some blue/green mix as well. The amount of green colours you can make are endless, the dark rich colours possible are fantastic. Painting trees with foliage takes time, but it is always worth it when you can see that the tree is a 3D representation.

I then painted the notice board. I used acrylic for this as I knew I would be overlaying that with gold leaf craft enamel for the distant lettering.

Painting the wall: take a dirty palette with residue of colours. Wet the wall area (in sections) and use a downward brushstroke to let the paint move on the paper, let it move and then put your paper flat.

Last of all I painted in the distant lettering on the notice board using a very fine brush and the craft enamel.

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