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  • Upbeat Liverpool

Capturing Canning Dock – By Ian Smith

Updated: May 2

Creativity can provide a safe, imaginative space where your vision can come to life through your fingertips.

Something our local artist Ian Smith truly appreciates and understands.

Through the medium of paint Ian gives colour, vibrancy and a new lease of life to the history and the heritage of the UK.

This time he sets his sights on Liverpool, focusing on Canning Dock, located on the River Mersey.

Here Ian talks to us about his journey capturing the historical heart of Liverpool’s waterfront.


Ian: Hi everyone, and welcome to my latest canvas Canning Dock which I'll be doing stage by stage over the weeks to come. 




The inspiration came about for the canvas from an image I’d seen. I just loved the sunset and the mirror-like reflection calm on the water. Also, the small ship appealed to me with the warm lights - it all adds to the ambience!

 Which canvas to use?


The canvas I decided to use was a very large (which broke my own rules as I said I would only use much smaller sizes so they are easier to carry when transporting!) I was going to an art group at the docks and this is how I acquired the canvas. I thought if the painting works out it will look very impressive on a canvas of a larger size.

Making a start


The sketching took a little bit of time as I needed to get the proportions and perspective right.

Once happy I made a start on the sky adding a base coat of acrylic yellow. For the top coats I added sunset hues of orange, red and white. I will then return to complete the sky at a later stage.

I then worked on the water using the same array of colours and doing a similar process as I did with the sky, I will return to this later too. Next, I painted the buildings, a combination of brick reds and black. The canvas now has its base coat which will be built up over the remaining stages. There is much to add but I wait in anticipation!


What is next

I'm waiting to get a new easel, brushes, and more paints so I'm hoping stage two will be in the next month. After having a long break from art I'll be looking forward to doing more and finishing the canvas. My daughter has a house where I can go and paint , it’s ideal as there is much more room and light – plus I won't have to put everything away all the time like in my house....oh happy days!


Looking forward

It’ll be great to see the canvas develop over time and come to life! There is much effect I can add here and being a big canvas there is lots of potential for added detail. So, this project is well worth looking forward too!

Well, that's it for now folks and looking forward to seeing you for stage two.


See you soon and take care!


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1 Comment

Unknown member
May 01

Hi everyone, hope you are liking the stage one Canning Dock, there is some work ahead, but I'm hoping the finished result will be a good one.

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