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Ken Young Shortcut

Shortcut: location

This painting, which I’ve given the title of Shortcut, depicts an alley called Gordon Lane in Glasgow city centre. However, I didn’t want to use Gordon Lane as the title, in case people wondered if that was the name of the man walking through the scene.

The alley connects Mitchell Lane to Gordon Street. It’s only a short distance from Glasgow’s main shopping district in and around Buchanan Street.

The figure

The man walking down the alley is my friend and fellow artist, Colin Joyce. He and I were in Glasgow taking photographs of street scenes for use in our paintings. We had wandered along Mitchell Lane, which is home to the Lighthouse, a design and architecture centre, as well as bars and shops. When we reached Gordon Lane, I started to take a photo and Colin offered to walk ahead of me so that I’d have a human figure to focus on.

And that, in a nutshell, is how Shortcut came to be.

Painting Shortcut

I began with a ‘ghost wash’, which involved drawing the scene first, then wetting the paper and lastly adding large brushfuls of blue, grey and brown watercolour paint. The paint dried light and loose. It’s a great way of getting paper covered in paint in one quick, easy step. Of course, you have to take care where you place the colours.

When the ghost wash was dry, I built up the paint in the usual way, layering paint on the various shapes. The predominant colour is blue-grey (deepening into black), but I offset it with yellows and golds from the windows on the left, plus other hints of colour elsewhere. Colin’s red coat – which was blue, in real life – helps his figure stand out.

I realise that a painting of a seedy, back alley won’t appeal to most people. But I saw potential in the scene and my aim was to portray a sense of grimy neglect, balancing that with a bit of colour.

Would you like to buy this painting?

This original watercolour painting is available for sale, unframed. Terms and Conditions apply.


The size is 8.5 x 11.8 inches, or 21.5 x 30 centimetres.


The materials I used are:

• Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour paints
• Daler & Rowney 140lb (300gsm) Langton Prestige Cold Pressed watercolour paper, which is a professional-quality paper.


The price is UK£75.00.

For currency conversion, you might like to try the Valuta converter, which has most currencies: click here.

I’m prepared to sell this painting not just to buyers in the UK, but also to residents of the following I’m prepared to sell this painting not just to buyers in the UK, but also to residents of the following countries*: Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States of America.

There’s no extra charge for shipping (postage and packing), but remember, the painting will be unframed.

*To the best of my knowledge, which is not perfect, none of these countries will charge import duty on the painting.


I accept payment via PayPal only. Don’t worry if you don’t have a PayPal account, because PayPal allows customers to pay with a debit or credit card.

So, if you’re ready to buy now, here’s the button to press:



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