• Monica Callaghan

Creating The Great Light

Updated: Mar 31, 2019

For this painting I used a photo reference from a trip we took to Istanbul a few years back.  At the time I was working on a series of mixed media pieces so I started by sticking some collage elements onto a canvas board.  These were from an old dictionary - I used words like “worship” because that is what the Hagia Sophia is to so many - not just a tourist hotspot, but a place of worship.  I also included clips of Rumi poetry.  These were just randomly pasted on along with strips of gold leaf wrapping paper.  I covered these loosely with various washes of watered down acrylic - one of my favourite colours for this is Quinacridone Gold.  Then I did a rough drawing with thinned down black acrylic. Once I was happy with the drawing I went in to establish my darks using deep purples and blues - some translucent so one could still see some of the collage.  Then I spent quite a bit of time of the lights - I really wanted them to be bright and sparkly but quite loosely painted. Then I added layers to the background and worked into the gold of the chandelier.  I finished by adjusting the final highlights.   

And here is an animation showing that process ...

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