Parameswara Jetty scene photograph

Photograph of Parameswara Jetty river scene

I found some time recently to work on a painting. The scene was taken from a boat jetty called “Parameswara Jetty” at a river in Melaka, Malaysia. The painting was completed within 3-4 days.

Digital photograph copied on paper over drawing table

Digital photograph copied on paper over drawing table

Parameswara Jetty light colored areas rendered

Parameswara Jetty light colored areas rendered

Masking tape on paper over bright areas

Masking tape on paper over bright areas

First, there is the selection of a photograph. The photograph was taken on 14 Feb 2014 while I was waiting to board one of the motor launches that will take me to a ship anchored off the coast of Melaka, Malaysia. It was quite early in the morning, and the sun was still low over the horizon. The area was surrounded by 3-storied buildings. Some patches of light could be seen filtering through the surrounding buildings which lighted up the upper portions of the boats and jetty. The far off building at the far bank of the river was not blocked by anything, so it remained well lighted.

The air was still cool. The river water was calm. There was hardly any wind to disturb the surface of the water. The water was dark, influenced by the contents of the surrounding damp moss and the shadow from the wooden jetty and the river bank. The reflections were bright in some parts contrasting sharply against the dark shadow areas. Somehow it gave an impression of calm and refreshing coolness.

Parameswara Jetty more details added

Parameswara Jetty more details added

I managed to take a few shots of the scene on my camera before I was called to board the motor launch and start my journey. Well, that began another story.

But this story is about my creation story – Creating Parameswara 1. And it happened back at my studio …

Parameswara Jetty painting completed

Parameswara Jetty painting completed

As usual, I would do a sketch of the selected scene with my pencil on the watercolor paper.

Then I would covered up the light areas with masking tape so that I can freely apply wet color from my brush for the sky and water without any restrictions. Usually it would be better to work very fast to lay up large areas of sky and water in bold, wide strokes, on the paper. The paper itself was laid on my specially designed table top with a slight slope. In this way, the color washes tend to move towards the lower portion of the paper as soon as it was brushed on. I would continue the same sweeping horizontal strokes, progressively diluting the color as I move towards the horizon in the picture so as to create a gradual shift of color density effectively differentiating the near sky from the far sky over the horizon.

The same effect was carried out for the water, with some difference. The water is more complicating. It has shadows, reflections, waves, depth and floating or standing objects and its own color. Essentially, it must look naturally like water.

The color of the water was also more complicated. As most of the darker areas were in the shadow, I would prepare more of a mixture of prussian blue, and burnt sienna colors in the foreground in addition to the reflected colors.

The finishing touches on the painting were made to the bright orange-red life-buoys. The ripples in the foreground water and the reflected water further were added in to suggest movement.

Do you like the result? You can see the finished painting which you can enlarge at my gallery – Thomas’ Gallery – on this blog.