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Looking for the Light by David Taylor


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Light is all important to David Taylor's work. In this film he goes in search of the wonderful light of Italy along the Amalfi coast. Arriving in a new area, he emphasises the benefit of sketching before starting to paint. He then goes on to complete 5 watercolor paintings of a variety of subjects including scenes of boats and buildings, a beach, the charming hilltop village of Ravello on a sunny afternoon and even a street painted at night.

His paintings perfectly capture the atmosphere and light of the Italian scenery. 90 min. APV Films, DVD in NTSC format for North America.  

DAVID TAYLOR
very impressive

APV Films of Great Britain has produced another great film that captures the plein-air experience with a master watercolor artist. Looking for the Light features Australian artist David Taylor painting on the beautiful Amalfi coast of Italy. You may be familiar with his work through his book, Solving the Mystery of Watercolor and DVD with the same title.

What is wonderful about this film is we get to see what the artist sees and watch as he eliminates, simplifies and emphasizes elements of the scene before him to create a credible work of art. This has also been the case in previous APV films featuring on-location painting by Alvaro Castagnet, Joseph Zbukvic and others.

We watch as Taylor explores the area and sketches to get familiar with this new location. He selects several sites and makes a small color study at a place where he will return to paint a half sheet. In this 90 minute film he will paint five on-location paintings.

The first painting is done on the beach in Minori. The view is looking up the beach toward the town whose buildings are climbing the background hill. People, beach umbrellas and boats fill the foreground. As he paints Taylor gives a running commentary on what he is doing. Periodically he checks the painting with a pocket mirror that provides him with reversed total image. This is his regular practice to check for design errors and other problems in the work.

The second demo is done from a point above the harbor at Amalfi. This is a complex scene with the mountains, buildings and trees along the harbor and climbing the mountainside, and the boats in the harbor. As he draws the scene on his watercolor paper he notes that ?It is not what you put in but what you leave out that often makes the painting.? He emphasizes mixing color on the page and letting adjacent washes merge.

His third painting is a street scene in the hill top village of Revello on a sunny afternoon. Buildings, trees, the street and people make up this painting. Shadows on the buildings and street are added after the initial washes are dry. A final touch of calligraphy adds a feeling of spontaneity.

This next painting is something unusual. A night scene painted on the street of Minori starting at 7:30 in the evening. The view is looking down the street with lights partially illuminating the buildings and making strong shadows on the street. There are also a number of people having an evening stroll. He starts off with a large mop brush and lots of wet warm color on the buildings, mingling yellows and gold to create an under painting. He adds the shadows on the buildings and much stronger shadows on the street after the initial washes dry. A dark sky is added last cutting around the buildings. This last step really creates the feeling of night.

The last painting is looking down on the beach of Minori with the bluffs and buildings dropping down to the sea. The sea breaking on the beach, red tile roofs, water front shops and trees and people on the beach are accomplished with masterful marks of the artist?s brush.

David Taylor is a wonderful painter.