Finished Painting: “Vis-à-vis”… a masquerade in gold and orange

So, I finally finished the latest Masquerade painting:

Vis-à-vis - painting in gouache and gold leaf
Vis-à-vis – painting in gouache and gold leaf, about 17.5 x 11 inches in size.

This painting is an absolute so-and-so to photograph in order to give you any idea of what it looks like in real life. So I have done my best with a lot of close-ups, but clicking on the images will also bring them up bigger so you can see them better. The colours are very subtle, which is hard to capture, but the main problem is that as you move, or the painting does, or the light source does, the gold leaf springs to life, sometimes much darker than the figures, sometimes much brighter. In order to give you some impression of this, I’ve tied filming it – see below. Let me know, anyone, if this is a useful thing to do, or just makes you feel seasick!

I think that there may be a lot more mileage in this almost-monochrome approach. Perhaps I could have added in a little more colour before going over everything with the orange wash, but more experimentation is required, I think…. on a different painting.

And now, lots of close-ups…

Vis-à-vis - close-up 1
The man with a bouquet of masks behind his back (which , incidentally is an idea I intend to develop further when I have the time….).
Vis-à-vis - close-up 2
Masks upon masks. This woman is wearing two at once, but like her fellow party-goers she perhaps has no real face beneath.
Vis-à-vis - close-up 3
…and the two-masked woman is also eyeing up this fellow at a distance.
Vis-à-vis - close-up 3
The girl whose mask is slipping… but she has a handbag full of spare faces.
close-up of the cats
close-up of the cats
vis-a-vis-_close-up 6
The masked cats, of course, are enjoying themselves immensely.
Masked cat
Masked cat
...and one last close-up.
…and one last close-up.


  1. everything is utterly gorgeous and gripping, the washed-out colors adding to its mysterious atmosphere also enhance by the golden background you did good to film, by the way. very novel and inedited

    1. Thank you! Glad you appreciated the filmed bit, too – wasn’t sure if it was worth putting up, but it is easy to forget that I know what it really looks like when I see a static photo, so my brain adds in information that isn’t there…

  2. is this original for sale?

    1. Hi, yes, this one’s also available, but not yet up on my website. I will send you an email.

  3. […] be amusing, though I may do the masks in colour. I was quite pleased with the effect I got with the Vis-à-Vis painting, where I only added a kind of orange to the blue underpainting. Anyway, we shall see how […]

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