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I have always been fascinated by steps and doorways as to where they might lead. I have a dedicated section on my art web site entitled Doorways and Steps where you can see relevant paintings under this category. Look under Galleries.
This particular painting of a set of stone spiral steps in one of the turrets at Carew castle was quite difficult to achieve realistically. The hard part was getting the spiral perspective correct in pencil sketch form first; and then mapping that to the canvas panel I chose to paint it upon. This was an intentionally small canvas as I wanted it to fit onto my scanner in its entirety to take a high resolution photograph of it rather than digitally stitching more than one photo together; from which I could make much larger reproduction prints.
Normally, I paint in Artists acrylic paint but on this occasion I used a water-based oil to try the pigments and to see how easy or not they would be to apply. They worked well eventually. It took a few hours of trial and error of learning when to use the modified water based mediums of linseed oil and a thinner. At least these modified mediums are kinder on the nose in that they do not smell too much and they tend not to permeate the air in all rooms of my house.
As the painting finally got underway, with thin glazing techniques, I found a preference for painting straight from the tube and with very little medium added to each pigment.
I changed the original colours of the steps and surrounding walls because these were essentially a drab grey. The colours chosen still look plausible and are kinder to the eye.
Carew Castle Turret Steps is also a metaphorical painting. It describes a possible journey through life for the average person.
Starting at the bottom of the spiral stairwell, you slowly climb to the top with the option of abandoning your ambitions some way up by escaping through the illustrated doorway and treading a new path. This may seem to be a good idea at the time but as you can see there are more steps to climb beyond the doorway. So the saying of, the grass is often never greener on the other side of the hill, seems quite apt here.
As you can see from the main spiral steps, they get lighter in colour the higher up you climb. This could equate to wealth or wisdom or indeed anything else depending on your intentional ambitions or goals.
Copyright (c) Edward McNaught-Davis 2018. All Rights Reserved.