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MASTERCLASS

Patterns in light Bryan Evans, winner of the St Cuthberts Mill and Exhibition Awards in The Artist Open Competition 2016, demonstrates the watercolour techniques behind his atmospheric interpretations of Glasgow

I

've lived in Glasgow for almost 30 years and have always been fascinated by the tenement flat 'closes' of the city. I've painted numerous versions of them over the years. They all have a central stairway and large windows that allow light to flood in on Scotland's rare sunny days. My work is predominantly tonal, concerned with light and shade and the 'closes' allow me endless possibilities to examine variations in lighting, structure and tone while sticking to a similar basic theme. The close I'm painting for this article is in the fashionable Finnieston area of Glasgow's West-End. It's south facing,

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artist February 2017

so in the afternoon light floods in to create fascinating shapes and patterns on the wall and stairs. The relatively cramped space meant I couldn't capture a satisfactory image with one photo so I took over a dozen photos from different angles, which I combined digitally in Photoshop in my studio. Before the wonders of digital technology I used glue and sticky tape to paste photos to a board. The idea here was to create a slightly vertiginous, forced perspective that appears basically normal but also a little uneasy in atmosphere. The windows, bannisters and stairs veer away from each other in slightly

unnatural ways, but hopefully not too artificial a manner.

How I work I tend to use watercolours in a fairly unconventional manner, usually starting with the dark tones and, as part of the process, often removing as much paint as I apply. When I do demonstrations of my technique I tell my students that I don't so much 'use' watercolour as 'abuse' it. I almost always use Bockingford watercolour paper. When I first began painting in watercolour I used this paper because it was, and still is, one of the best value watercolour papers

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The Artist February 2017  

Masterclass with Bryan Evans, award-winner in The Artist Open Competition 2016 Caroline Saunders talks to Nick Andrew about how he expresses...

The Artist February 2017  

Masterclass with Bryan Evans, award-winner in The Artist Open Competition 2016 Caroline Saunders talks to Nick Andrew about how he expresses...