Last week I had the pleasure to complete a commission for The University of Salford, as part of their summer Undergraduate Open Days. Although I am, as a rule, teaching and pottering around campus working on recruitment events, this time (first time) my role was changed into what I do most behind the scenes (probably not as neatly dressed as I would be on a work day!). My manager at recruitment, Vicki had seen my work on Twitter and thought it would be beneficial to offer something different to the visitors coming to the open day. So there I was, on 1 July, in the sweltering heat, laying out all my brushes and my rather gigantic cotton paper, getting ready for what was going to be possibly the hottest day of the year so far. Manchester is seldom dry for more than 3 days at a time but this was the Sahara experience in itself, as the temperature rose to beyond 30 degrees. Saying that, the heat probably helped my watercolours a great deal, not to mention that I needed a top-up from my Tenerife tan which is probably going to be a thing of the past soon. To detail:
Day 1 - 1 July
My location, marked on the map with the little grey pin. This is basically the Frederick Road Campus, home to Visual Arts and mainly health courses.
Starting out, dressed as a Parisian flower-seller, I must have confused the bypassers quite a bit. My drawing board is laughable given its A2 size. The sheet was 1 m x 750 mm. I'm not the numeracy queen, am I?
Photo credit: Gary Duncan
...4 hours later.
Photo credit: Salma Begum
...5 hours later.
The final image is a combination of the pallette below and my newly-adopted Carbothello pastel pencils which I have become completely besotted with. Special thanks comes to Estates who have made sure
they provided regular check-ups on how the sketch was advancing and of course, provided me with the table.
The DIY pallette I used for this sketch. From top left to bottom right: quinacridone gold, olive green, cobalt turqoise, violet dioxide, phtalo turqoise, turqoise, permanent sap green (or should I say, what was),
Winsor blue, scarlet lake, Winsor yellow, yellow ochre, Payne's grey.
Day 2 - 4 July
Day 2 was all about the blend between old and new. With Peel building in shot, I had a panoramic view across the main footpath
that snakes past Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Peel Building (1896) and finishes at the future New Adelphi (completed cca. March 2016)
In addition, the weather decided to bugger off a bit. Note how I'm much less tropical in this one. I also posted myself under a fir tree to avoid
further sunburn. The downside was all about the wildlife falling from the tree at strategic times...mostly bang in the middle of a watercolour wash.
Photo credit: Fiza Ikram.
An hour later...then, 3 hours into the process...
To the final sketch:
The colour pallette used here was the same as the one used previously with the exception of the quinacridone magenta.
Both sketches will be framed and displayed in the recruitment office, respectively the reception area of Humphrey Booth House, which is currently undergoing cosmetic regeneration inside.
All images ©Adelina Pintea and the authors, as specified.