‘Titanic, Plymouth Harbour’, progress with the paintings which measure 175.5 x 80 cm, [69″ x 31 1/2 “].
Exactly the same size as the original the famous artist Norman Wilkinson painted for the White Star Line, lost with the ‘Titanic’.
I am commissioned to produce 2 paintings, both to replicate as accurately as possible, the splendid original, one for my client, the other for sale as a joined venture.
Like a ship entering port, my progress is cautious, steady ahead.
I am discovering all sorts of things I only half knew about how Wilkinson worked, his techniques and something of his thinking.
He and I it seems, have much in common.
I’m using the same type of canvas, it took a while to find it.
It is a very good surface to paint on and has quickly confirmed what I suspected about some of Wilkinson’s techniques, particularly how he painted ‘wet on wet’, the canvas has properties that greatly facilitate that by allowing the under colours to show through as much or as little as the painter might intend.
I’ve also come to realise why he used bright, almost ‘Fauvre’ colours for this painting.
The composition, of necessity given the choice of view point and symbolic way the port and shipping are represented, is simple to the point of uninspiring.
Wise Wilkinson realised, the success or failure of his painting, depended on his colouring.
He made an outstanding success out of what could easily have been mediocre, truly a master’s touch.
Had she survived, ‘Titanic’ was due to make regular calls at the historic port of Plymouth where so many celebrated voyages began and others ended.
‘Titanic’ was due to arrive at Plymouth between 1 and 2 o’ clock in the afternoon so Wilkinson chose a typical summer day in June or July for his painting which had pride of place on board, in the first class smoking room.
Last Updated on