Looking Out


“Looking Out”, 2014, 24″ x 24″, pigment ink and acrylic on canvas

This painting depicts looking out on the beautiful Prinsengracht. It is inspired by my recent visit to Amsterdam where looking in and out of windows is a big thing! People in The Netherlands tend not to have the ubiquitous privacy-protecting “net curtains” I grew up with in London. Instead, as I understand the Dutch history (and any Dutch readers please correct me on this), the culture was to show one’s possessions through your windows as a means of establishing status and showing the attributes of wealth. As much as folks like to look in at windows, it is just as interesting when your room overlooks a canal, such as in the old center of Amsterdam, to look out at life going by. People walk and cycle much more in the Netherlands than in America and probably than in most other places in the world, and this activity on the streets makes looking out of a window all the more fascinating.


For those interested in media, process and technique, this painting, my first of 2014, was created entirely using Corel Painter X3 on an iMac with a Wacom Intuos5 M pen tablet. I used this painting as an exploratory playground for going through and reminding myself of all fifty Impasto brushes in Painter. The Impasto brushes are designed emulate the effect of applying thick paint on your canvas. The process of creating this painting will be the subject of this month’s video tutorial here on PaintboxTV.com.

I really enjoyed painting the scene through the window. I treated each window pane as a mini-painting and used different combinations of brushes in each.

My artistic inspirations for this painting were primarily the thick ‘impasto’ painting technique of Vincent van Gogh and the focus on pattern, shape and design of some of Henri Matisse’s work. I was also inspired by van Gogh and Matisse’s marvelous bold expressive color and use of outline, and David Hockney’s approach to widening your vantage point and getting away from one point perspective.

If you’d like to see another painting also inspired by my recent Amsterdam visit, please see “Amsterdam Canal”.

January 1, 2014

Leave your Comment:

No comments yet.