Project Beane is a personal challenge relating to my interest in conservation of a local river. My intention is to submit one or more paintings to the village show and to paint a similarly themed mural on the side of the house.
I was looking for local subject matter for a personal painting project and I found it in my local river.
The River Beane which passes close to where I live has had a challenging existence due to the water abstraction that started in the Fifties and Sixties. Since then the flow of the river has been impaired to such an extent that the river has rarely flowed in the Summer months. Locals recall how there was once trout, newts, otter and even the possibility of canoeing in the river. The water board are currently in the middle of a program to significantly reduce the river abstraction with a reduction target achieved in 2015 and another set for 2018. The hope of those living in the area and of river conservationists is that the water flow and wildfire will return this very pure and unique chalk stream habitat to it’s original state.
My original idea was to create a River God as a central Celtic theme. I soon switched to a goddess partly because my research revealed the origins of the name River Beane were from English and Welsh words meaning Little Goddess. The River Boyne in Ireland having similar Celtic meaning.
I like to include lettering and imagery to help tell a story so these watercolours provided a great opportunity to hand render render and paint celtic style type to help support the imagery.
Development drawings in advance of detailed line art.
These are the early stages of the image layout composition prior to adding typography.
I made these ink line art illustrations with typography to form the foundations of the main piece of work.
The inked line art template and photography needed some definition and tidying up to improve the composition template before progressing to an A2 watercolour.
I then produced an acrylic painting of the central theme which is the little goddess of the river.
Celtic patterns were drawn and painted into the overall design.
I painted two different sized watercolour paintings as part of this personal project. The smaller version was to a maximum measure of 12 inches and therefore provided limited space for the detail I ideally wanted to include so I also painted an A2 size that allowed me to cover the composition with a greater variation of colour and brush stroke.