This framed painting is available to buy here or to buy as a limited edition print here

Pintar Rapido London, is the UK’s largest outdoor painting festival, competition and exhibition. A weekend celebration of art and of the London cityscape.

It is open to professional and non-professional artists of all skill levels and it inspires hundreds of them to create a picture from start to finish in a day. The following day, the public can view and buy these unique visions of London at the Pintar Rapido exhibition.

Me doing Pintar Rapido

Generally my paintings take more than a day. They often involve initial drawings, and multiple visits to complete a painting. Here, however, I have to do what I need to do in a single day which is a pretty big ask for me.

To give myself the best chance of finishing, I made a site visit a week or two prior to registering. I found a decent view in Soho. I gave it a look over and made a few initial drawings so I could get in my head what I needed to do.

I got to registration at 9am, had my board stamped to prevent me cheating! Then zoomed over to Soho to begin. On arrival, to my horror, I found that what I prepared to paint was now a massive inaccessible building site. I was ruined!

After gathering my thoughts, I knew I needed to find another site within 15 minutes or I was sunk, I would never complete my painting on time. So, I picked up my kit and wandered about. After about ten minutes, I found myself at the end of Old Compton Street, and onto Charing Cross Road. I looked back the other way and I found my new site. It had lovely variations of texture and colour in the architecture. It was, however, very complicated, and I knew there would be no time at all for lunch breaks.

Painting Charing Cross Road

I didn’t even have enough time for an initial sketch, I was straight onto it. It was very busy and hot work. Thankfully, I was noticed by a benevolent pub land lord at Molly Moggs. He provided me with drinks for free and allowed me to use the loo on occasion. A real gent.

A painting of Molly Moggs, Soho

I worked solid for eight hours to complete, and I just about delivered it to Chelsea Town Hall for the 7pm deadline.
The next day, all 400 paintings were exhibited . I also had an opportunity to meet up with a number of my fellow artists to talk the usual nonsense artists talk about.

Then onto the East End for a beer and curry.

A bit more about No. 99A Charing Cross Road

Following the exhibition, I did a spot of research on my emergency subject.

This wonderful structure was designed in 1904 by Charles H Worley. He and his brother Robert, owned a London based architectural firm which made a name for themselves for traditional, though often striking designs.

There is a very similar building by the same architect on Moore Street and it is at the other end of the block (an Ed’s Easy Diner) though there is no evidence that it was ever intended to link the two in a single scheme.

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