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West Nile Street

West Nile Street is a busy street in the centre of Glasgow.

A simple cityscape

The scene I’ve painted is comparatively simple as cityscapes go. It features a line of parked cars and (to suggest a sense of scale) a single pedestrian crossing the road in the middle distance. Along the top, there’s some miscellaneous street clutter but I kept this element indistinct, which helps to push it back.

Glasgow as a subject

West Nile Street is similar in look and feel to my earlier painting, Grey Day. However, this one is smaller and less busy. I can add that the two locations are close to each other. Glasgow’s city centre is compact.

Speaking of Glasgow, I tend to favour it for cityscape paintings. I think that’s because many artists whose cityscapes I admire are American. Those include John Salminen, Mark Mehaffey, Thomas Schaffer, Paul Jackson, Iain Stewart, Patricia Chidlaw, Jeremy Mann, and others. Glasgow’s centre, being laid out in a grid pattern with many tall buildings, has more of an American look to it than, say, Edinburgh does. I guess that’s why I prefer it.

Painting cars

I could be wrong about what I’m going to say next and I don’t mind if someone wants to set me straight. Not counting artists specialising in car portraits, I get the impression that a lot of artists shy away from painting cars. I’m not sure why this should be. Me, I’m fond of painting them. What I like about cars is their sleek curves, the odd reflections in their paintwork, and the strong reds of their light clusters.


As I’ve said before, I really enjoy using red paint. So much so, that as in the case of West Nile Street, I’ll leave putting in the reds till the very last stage of a painting. That way, I get a kick out of seeing how the reds ‘pop’!

Unframed watercolour painting. Size 8.5 x 11.8 inches / 21.5 x 30 centimetres.

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