Carl Laubin at work

The initial sketch for Vanbrugh's Castles. ©Carl Laubin/Plus One Gallery

Last week I posted about Carl Laubin’s forthcoming exhibition at the Plus One Gallery. Today I want to show some images that allow us to look over the artist’s shoulder as he was painting Vanbrugh’s Castles.

The composition scaled up and transferred onto canvas. ©Carl Laubin/Plus One Gallery

The idea for this painting evolved out of Laubin’s previous work, Vanbrugh Fields. The artist now wanted to give the Blenheim Bridge a more central role. Instead of using a Claudean tree to balance the composition he created a steeply rising bank of buildings on the right side of the painting.

Blenheim Bridge emerges. ©Carl Laubin/Plus One Gallery

An initial sketch was developed into a working drawing, which was then scaled up and transferred onto canvas.

As the compsition is filled out, the Temple of the Four Winds appears too dominant. ©Carl Laubin/Plus One Gallery

As the painting developed, certain problems of composition and scale became apparent. For instance, Laubin felt that the Temple of the Four Winds in the right foreground (in reality at Castle Howard, North Yorkshire), didn’t feel quite right there.

The Temple of the Four Winds is removed. ©Carl Laubin/Plus One Gallery

It was removed to the middle ground and replaced by the demolished Bagnio from Eastbury.

More detail is added, but something still seems to be lacking. ©Carl Laubin/Plus One Gallery

But this in turn seemed to reduce the depth of the composition.

Trying out a reduced version of the Temple. ©Carl Laubin/Plus One Gallery

Experimenting with a less prominent version of the Temple of the Four Winds sketched onto an acetate overlay, Laubin found a better place for it further down in the lower right corner. This also gave the Blenheim Bridge more breathing space.

The final version of Vanbrugh's Castles. ©Carl Laubin/Plus One Gallery

How amazed Vanbrugh would have been to see his oeuvre laid out like this, as a kind of palatial hill town. I am very grateful to Carl Laubin for allowing us this glimpse into his studio – indeed, into his imagination.

6 Responses to “Carl Laubin at work”

  1. Blue Says:

    Fascinating to see how an artist works! I really am excited by this man’s work and look forward to viewing it at the gallery. It will, I think, be a real high point of our trip to London.

  2. Katherine Cox Says:

    How interesting to see the different stages of the work, thank you for sharing it with us. :)

  3. carl laubin Says:

    Nicely done, Emile. Thank you very much. A painting never seems to go in a straight line from start to finish. It is more like a labyrinth with directions to be tried and paths retraced!

  4. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Barry, I hope you have an enjoyable trip.

    Katherine, glad you like it.

    Carl, thanks very much – and yes this blog format probably makes the process look much more linear than it is in reality.

  5. Toby Worthington Says:

    First we’re introduced to Carl Laubin’s staggeringly accomplished paintings and now we’ve got an intimate look at the process behind them. For once, I am
    rendered speechless~ with awe.

  6. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Thank your for your speechless response :)

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