Friday, 13 November 2009

Helsinki's harbour - oil painting

I painted this scene from a reference photograph I took with my mobile phone in Helsinki last week, one day after the first snow fall of the year. This part of the harbour runs in parallel with the street named Docksgatan.

Helsinki's harbour - oil on panel by Benoit Philippe

In order to get the subject right, I had to shot the picture from afar and use the ditigal zoom, which means loosing some resolution. The resulting photograph is not very luminous and a little blurry. However, I found that sometimes, bad photographs make good reference for painting because they don’t dictate too much. To get the most out of it, I looked at the picture on the screen of my laptop while painting rather than trying to work from a print out.

I selected seven colours that I found suitable to compose a winter palette:

  • Titanium White
  • Chrome Yellow
  • Transparent Yellow Oxide (by C. Roberson & Co.)
  • Terra Piozzuoli (by Mussini / Schmicke)
  • Vermilion red
  • Phtalo blue
  • Ivory Black

Apart from Phtalo Blue that I used to mix cool greys and the greenish grey of the water, these colours are on the warm side. Terra Piozzuoli was useful for the brick walls of the docks.

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1 comment:

Beatrice Cloake said...

I like this picture, the amount of blues gives the feel of cold weather.

Beau tableau !