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Painting Het Schip - behind the scenes

Updated: Sep 18, 2022

The prospect of painting Het Schip was actually a very daunting experience because I really wanted to do it justice! It’s no secret that I absolutely adore this building and it is one of the finest examples of the architectural style Amsterdam School!


When I started sketching Het Schip, I knew I didn’t want to make the painting too complicated in terms of technique and in the amount of detail captured. The building has incredible detailing, but I didn’t want to detract from the iconic tower shape and brick colour. I started by a doing a very rough sketch in pencil, followed by a rough painting to see if I was happy with the angle and positioning of the painting.



I then decided on my colour palette, and covered the top part of the building using some masking fluid. I quickly painted the sky in two shades of blue (using a gradient wash), and also incorporated a few watercolour blooms before the sky was fully dry. Blooms are my most favourite watercolour effect, but they are extremely unpredictable - so I was relieved to see this bit turn out okay!



I worked in layers, allowing each colour to dry before applying the next. The window outlines were completed slightly differently using a combination of yellow ochre and white acrylic gouache.



To finish off the painting, I had to decide where to outline the building and this was the trickiest part of the whole process! I recall I agonised over this for a few days as I didn’t want to outline everything and detract from the beauty of the building, but I still needed more definition. It was a tricky process, but I got there eventually!






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