Ambleside, after Francis Towne

Ambleside, after Francis Towne
Watercolor and graphite on 140 lb watercolor paper, 5″ x 8″

The paints are all from M Graham. The most used were cobalt green, azo yellow, and tartan blue (an old limited edition cerulean). Cobalt violet was also used with the yellow to produce the browns, and a small amount of cobalt teal for the sky. So two blues and one each of green, yellow, and violet.

I tried to use stronger colors than the original by Francis Towne, which looks dull and washed out to me, but I started too strong at the top and didn’t end up with the full range needed for atmospheric perspective. So the original actually has a stronger sense of depth. Also the cobalts, which naturally granulate, gave this copy a lot more texture than the original.

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4 thoughts on “Ambleside, after Francis Towne

  1. Not only do the pale colors of the background give the original Towne more depth, but his sharply-inked midground detailing does as well. Your piece is a nice one in and of itself, but I’d bet that a repeat of this exercise would give you more insight into Towne’s visual techniques. Nicely done. Always impressed by your knowledge of pigments.

    1. Yeah, the pencil lines I drew to start with looked dark, but most were too faint to see as soon as even mid strength paint was applied over them. I darkened a few with a darker pencil at the end, but it still wasn’t enough. This took much longer than expected because when trying to make a copy I tend to get bogged down in small details. If I were to do this again I was thinking I’d try it with just cobalt teal, azo yellow, and cobalt violet. 🙂

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