Canal art

The main art on canal boats or barges consists of old fashioned lettering, this then has shadows cast to make it appear 3 dimensional. See the photos above.


I tried to draw this canal rose pot to keep me occupied while I was at the canal festival.

What you regularly see is this castle and roses pattern on barges and canal boats. It consists of a landscape painted  with a stylised castle, often next to a river, and  roses and leaves will appear either around the castle or on a different part of the bucket, jug, pot, table, stool or whatever peice of equipment carried on the barge. These historical paintings are also often painted on the inside of the doors so that when they are opened against the side of the hull they are on view.

I think this style of art is lovely. It may be old fashioned, but its interesting.

To paint the roses you start with a  filled in circle of paint, then the leaves are painted in, then the petals are added. These seem to be created using the brush shape and are simple but neatly done. Finally details like highlights and stamens are added.

When these barges were in use, the main part of them were used for hauling coal or pottery. Whole families might live in a space not much bigger than about 10 foot by 6 foot…., is it any wonder that the barges were decorated with these patterns to make them more like home?









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