Definitely on a roll today. A very complicated scene but with good bones. Very enjoyable and came out really well. Love the blues and oranges.
Yesterday I just fancied painting some boats. This is done from a lovely photo by Dottie Best on ‘Paint My Photo’ - https://pmp-art.com/dottie-best/gallery/136333/cadgwith-harbor-cornwall-england .
As always there were struggles but it was fun to do and has a lot of solidity to it.
And part way through at the end of the day yesterday :
Another go attempting something with subdued color. Maybe a little too tentative in places but hangs together well.
A couple of intermediate shots below. I decided to use masking fluid for the lighthouse so I could sweep the sky in wet in wet. In the end I’m not convinced it was worth the trouble.
Here is a shot after the sky went in and I’m half way through the rocks. Always a bit of a gamble rocks but they’re progressing well here. Part of the secret is to be confident, vary the colors but don’t delineate every rock outline.
I have a bit of a tendency to overdo the colors in my paintings. For this one I decided to try and mute back everything, gray out the blues and the greens etc. It didn’t turn out to be a beautiful painting but there’s lots here I like. The scrubby brushwork on the rocks came out well as did the partial wet in wet for the lighthouse itself. All in all I think it’s positive
We went to Manchester-by-the-Sea last week and strolled down to singing beach. The sun was strong and, post labor day, only a few people were on the beach. Was almost perfect and deserved a painting. Annoyingly I got too involved with the foreground and overdid it. But it definitely captures the day.
Next John Lovett exercise. A little lethargic with this one for some reason but my lack of interest managed to result in something pretty loose.
The original photo:
And Mr Lovett's version from the end of the book:
Very nice. Simultaneously simpler and yet more detailed than mine.
I was procrastinating today and thinking what I really wanted to paint. Then I remembered how I enjoyed the clifftop painting of a couple of days ago and thought 'Yes! A seascape!'.
This was an absolute joy to paint and came out even better than I'd hoped. Seascapes can be tricky. The subtle tones of the water leave you one chance and one chance only to put in the delicate shapes of the water and foam. Not to mention remembering to leave white where white should be. Some people use masking fluid or go back in with white gouache to add spray but, to me, both of those detract from the clean effect of pure watercolor.
As usual some intermediate shots :
I put in a rough drawing just to indicate where the main lines of the rocks should go. No heavy pencil lines here as they detract from the water. Good so far. I softened the sky and the background sea around the main spray area leaving things pretty loose.
I decided to do the rocks in two steps. First an underwash to state the main shapes and put in some varied color. The darks would go in later to give them some form. So far so good - the paint was granulating nicely on the paper giving some good texture and visual interest.
Next I wanted to just put in an indication of where the dark blues were in the waves. Had to be careful here not to overdo the color otherwise you lose the fluidity of the water and it becomes solid. Still going ok!
Next step was putting the darks in the rocks. I kept things crisper in the middle of the painting and also softened edges away from the shadow edges. Still going ok.
However, all this was the easy bit. The real challenge comes next. To finish off the water I needed to darken up the dense part of the waves just enough to suggest water volume but not so much that they start competing with the rocks for solidity. After that is an even more subtle step where I have to suggest structure in the white frothy areas with almost no color at all. Both of these steps need a confident yet really light touch of the brush. The brush barely touches the paper but skims across the surface leaving speckles of color. And hardest of all you have to know when to stop - this can get addictive and there's always a little voice saying 'I'll just do this'. Was I up to it?
Well yes!! Nothing is ever pefect but I managed to do just enough and he came out handsomely. Sometimes all the frustration is worth it.
This was great fun to do but came out far too literal and the colorscheme needs dialing back a bit. Lighthouses are tricky things.
Our wonderful local art center Post Road Art has a number of exhibitions throughout the year. The next one is seascapes and landscapes so I thought I'd turn my hand to some sea and rocks. Now historically this has been a danger area for me (What isn't? Horses, buildings, snowy owls - all pose all sorts of problems). But hey! Nothing ventured, nothing gained so off I went.
The drawing was uneventful. just outlining the rock shapes and where they meet the sea. The washes went in fairly well :
Not too light, not too dark and some nice rough edges in the sea to allow for foam.
The next step was crucial. Getting the final darks in on the rocks so they stand out against the top of the cliffs was very important. At the same time I wanted to get enough variation in the rocks to suggest structure. This went pretty quickly and came out well.
Next was the sea. Always tricky. Don't overdo it as everything gets colored in and you lose the impression of foam. Underdo it and you don't get enough depth of color to show the form of the water. Again the gods were smiling on me and this went well too!!
The final piece was the foreground. I'd tried to get some thick paint on and drop water in to create texture but that obviously didn't work. One last try - keep the board a little more vertical, very thick paint with water and even thicker paint dropped in. And it worked! It's been a good day.
I don't think this will be my final submission for the exhibition but it's a good backup if nothing else comes together.