John Pike’s Torre De Belem

25 years ago I bought a book from John Pike, and one of the paintings that stood out, was the one from Torre de Belèm.
It was just such a impressing watercolor, the light and the tower itself!
I said to myself, if I ever know how he did this, I give it a try!

So I googled the tower, and chose a photo, that appeared suitable to paint.
I made a simple sketch on forehand, for colors and shadows.
image and sketch
So far so good, the sketch was loose and the colors looked okay.

Next thing to do was the original watercolor, so I decided to take old faithfully Arches, also the paper that Mr. Pike used for decades!
It stays my favorite paper, together with Bockingford.
I have also a lot of Saunders Waterford, but my colors stay pale on this paper, it is simple to use more color, but it is difficult to adjust the amount, when you used to Arches.
In the last movie, Joseph Zbukvic is using Arches for the first time, and on a certain moment he must wash away a whole part of his painting, cause it was way to prominent, he paints on Saunders most of the time! (The Monet water-lilies)
Torre de Belem
The result was clean, and a bit static, but I thought less is more.
But when my wife said, “I don’t think it is a very good one”, I knew I must make a new one. And I already signed the painting!
So this was ready for some experiments, I should do some figures, I never make figures, cause I am bad in making them! The light from the tower must be more dramatic, so I need a darker sky!
And a good shadow on the foreground is always a good idea!

Means you have just one go! Well paper enough, and it is fun to buy new stuff!
The result is here below, I am happy with it!
Okay it is not a masterpiece, but it is much better then the first try!
My own Torre de Belem!
Torre de Belem_two

Regards Edo