In this video I am going to talk about my painting of Little Venice in Maida Vale, London. Recently, I was very pleased to discover that it has been chosen to be exhibited at The Royal Institute of Oil Painters annual exhibition at The Mall Galleries in London.


Exhibition opens: Wednesday 29 November, 10am to 5pm daily
Exhibition closes: Saturday 16 December, 5pm

Gallery Viewing Times
Friday 17 November to Saturday 25 November, 10am to 5pm
Sunday 26 November, 10am to 1pm

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
9.30am to 5.30pm

Office address
17 Carlton House Terrace
London, SW1Y 5BD
Tel: 020 7930 6844

More details about the Exhibition

Artists are invited to submit work for exhibition alongside members of the Royal Institute of Oil  Painters at the ROI Annual Exhibition 2023.

The Royal Institute of Oil Painters was founded in 1882, promoting and exhibiting work of the highest standard in oil paint. The ROI provides a centre of excellence and encouragement for all who love this robust medium and is based at the Mall Galleries, London SW1.

The ROI Annual Exhibition showcases work by many exciting emerging painters alongside the work of more established names.

This year’s special theme is ‘Urban Life’ for which The ROI Themed Painting Prize is on offer to the best interpretation.  The theme is optional, one aspect of a larger exhibition to which oil paintings of all subjects, in any style, are welcome for consideration.

More details about the exhibition here

About my painting of Little Venice

Here we are in November, although this story began way back in January.

Back then, on a rather chilly day, I traveled to Little Venice with my sketchbook to take some drawing notes.  These help me to work on a larger oil painting back in the studio.

For this painting I needed to get off the tube at Warwick Avenue and walk down to the Regent’s Canal and the area known as Little Venice.

Little Venice mainly consists of houseboats and converted barges, evoking a curious piece of rural England ploughing through the metropolis. It also has a dry land community and a rather grand one at that.

The contrast in these communities is what makes Little Venice so interesting, and that is what I wanted to portray in my painting.

Once I found my ideal spot, I quickly settled in to one of my small drawings to be worked-up as a large painting later. It’s interesting that a large and detailed drawing is not required to make a large and detailed painting. You just need the essence and basic shapes to deliver the flavour of the final piece.

Drawing of Maida Vale and canal

The final painting

Eventually, I was happy with the basics of the drawing and had something ready for a larger painting back in the studio.

In the studio I got to work on the easel. I generally get the sky in first, it helps set the scene for the rest of the painting and from there I get to work on the buildings at the back and some of the fine details. Next, I look at the canal boats. The most challenging part of this was getting the light working as it passes through the trees, casting soft shadows on the hulls and upper parts.

It’s at this time I start thinking about the water, it needs to be completed towards the end of the process as it reflects everything above.

Lastly, I worked on the foreground. I really enjoy all the fussy details. All the Brick-a- brac and plants.

A painting of Blomfield Road in Little Venice London


Delivering my painting and the opening night

Prior to the exhibition the artists are asked to deliver their artworks to The Mall Galleries. We are asked to drop them off around the back in the tradesman’s entrance.  Not quite as salubrious as the front entrance, but still a thrill.  

Picture of Liam

My next date was for the private view. Here you get a chance to sit back a bit and enjoy your achievement. It’s always a treat to see your work on the wall of a gallery and, as most of an artists life can be solitary, always good to catch up with other artists again.

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