Portrait of a skilled craftsman

This  large portrait is of my very interesting  sitter Umberto Sarri - an independent clock and watch repairer in Muswell Hill.

Umberto has been working from this small intimate shop for many years - he is a skilled clock and watch repairer - a skill that is perhaps a dying art.

Umberto’s little shop  looks almost Dickensian from the  outside - an antiquated front window and a glass in the door from which you can always see Umberto - typically hunched over his work - illuminated by a spotlight.

I wanted this painting to be atmospheric - accentuating the  light and the dark. I also wanted to tell Umberto’s story - this is very much a story painting - it also features his   Italian background and his youthful footballing history.

The colours I used to create the darkness were Perylene  Black with a small amount of Chromium of Oxide  - using the colours from his shop sign and frontage and threading them through the painting.The lighter areas of the background were illuminated by more Chromium of Oxide with the addition of Lemon Yellow Hue and a touch of Cadmium Yellow to create different shades of green that create the highlights on the table.Burnt Umber and Cadmium Red were used in the middle background to offer a complimentary colour contrast.

The painting took me about three months to complete from the underpainting through  to the final work.- not painting every day of course - the painting had to dry between layers.

Date Published:

September 28, 2019


Working Practice

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