This is an older painting of mine and I thought I would share my progress as it’s one of the first times I thought of taking progress photos.
I painted from a photograph which I just loved the composition of.  This is at Mussenden  on the North Coast of Ireland and the 18th-century mansion of the eccentric Earl Bishop that now lies in ruin provides windows looking at some of the most stunning coastline and scenery.
I wanted to create that sharp contrast of light between the dark interior and the beautiful light outside.

The finished painting ‘Room With a View’
12″x19″ pastel on velour
My reference photo.  I loved the rough interior
walls of the mansion, even the fact that they had
been spray painted added to that feeling that
the manmade deteriorates while the untouched
landscape is as beautiful as ever.


I began with the scene outside starting from
the sky and working my way into the foreground.


The light hitting the stone work of the building
to the right will add a great contrast to the colour
the stone looks on the inside.


Starting to darken down the interior and add
texture to the walls.  The velour is so good
for this effect as by leaning lightly with the
side of a pastel I can very easily get the
graininess of stone.


Always working my way across to the right
and down from the top, leaving me plenty of
space to lean and anchor my hand for small


As you can see I’m not following the photograph
exactly for colour and vibrance.  I tend to pick
tones which have more impact than the photo
and this is the beauty of a painting.  We can
use a photo as reference but enhance the
colours in the painting.


The inside starts to make sense as I darken down
that right wall.


A close up of a section of the finished painting.
This picture feels so positive to me, the idea of looking
out to brighter horizons.  It was a first experiment
in light and shadow and using opposite colours to add depth.
I’ve used a lot of orange in his jeans in the shadows which
was such a revelation to me at the time.