Tourists in Edinburgh, Scotland

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This is an image of a tourist family gathering around a map. They stand on Calton Hill, overlooking Edinburgh Scotland. People are fascinating and this little group was a good example.

The body language was something to behold, for anyone who has had a close association with teenagers. In my mind, I saw three children travelling with their mother. The daughter who I imagined to be the eldest shows almost complete disinterest. It feels as though she is only just managing to put up with the family trip. The middle child, wearing the blue beanie was reasonably attentive or at least looking the part while the youngest child (partly hidden) is turned towards his mother, waiting for her pearls of wisdom!

In the beginning I painted this work in tones of black, grey and white. It was part of a mutual challenge I had with a colleague in the Netherlands. Here is my first version of the work.

2015-people at play-Philippa Robert-Calton Hill, Edinburgh
On Calton Hill, Edinburgh (monochrome)

The subtle warmth in this monochrome arises from the wheaty colours of the linen ground showing through.

In the finished work I cut back the tonal interest around the head of the boy on the left. The compositional flow seemed to stop there unless I reduced it.

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On Calton Hill, Edinburgh

The mother-figure had bright hair so I used the theme colour to warm up the figures. The cold white shirt of the daughter seems to emphasise her detachment. It was interesting too to see them perched high on the hill, with the Royal Mile and then distant suburbs beyond.

Family life! Do you know it?

PS:  This is one of my happy snaps that turned into a painting! The work is about 30x30cm, acrylic on linen and framed in black wood. As a special with this blog post, I am offering this painting to readers at a discount. Normally $410, now $380 for the first blog reader to claim the coupon at checkout: “2130blog”.

Free framing and shipping applies.