The Wapping Group pictures step-by-step
I hope that this will be the first of many pages where visitors to our website will be able to see our plein-air paintings in the making, as it were. This small (7.5 x 10 inches) oil study was done near Bell Weir Lock at Runnymede, right where the M25 crosses the Thames. It was pretty noisy but the bridge proved useful, if very draughty, when a formidable downpour interrupted work on the painting for about half an hour. The photographs were taken by a friend, Mike Godfrey, and I was mostly oblivious to his presence at my shoulder for over twenty photographs. I had not painted this subject before and I had no idea how it would turn out; in the event it was intriguing for me to see how I put a plein-air oil painting together – an instinctive process, for the most part. I knew I wanted the painting to convey the sunshine, the random (but satisfying) grouping of the boats, and especially the reflections in the river. The painting was finished on site and I have not tinkered with it at all; I think it conveys some of what I wanted it to and I’ll leave it at that. I hope you find the slide show interesting. The hiatus where the painting suddenly develops rapidly can be attributed to the fact that, when it rained, the photographer headed for a coffee in the Runnymede hotel and returned after the second half of play had already begun.