Today is Friday and on Fridays I allow myself to paint whatever I like. I have long been mesmerised by the sea, but not by my paintings of it!
When I visit galleries I see amazing seascapes by accomplished artists We have even bought some that especially capture our hearts , they give us joy hanging in our home and seeing them every day.
I began to feel I that the sea was simply a subject that eluded me. However, a year or so ago sitting on the beach I did paint a piece I was happy ( ish ) with and I saw a way to use watercolour to capture the mood I wanted , I am still drawn to big light filled canvases on holiday done in mixed media or oils but my beloved watercolour can now produce a seascape I like too.
We ( like so many of you ) have had some of our happiest times sitting on a Cornish beach, feeling warmed by the sun and happy in each others company. The kids playing and the light beginning to fade, the realisation that tomorrow we can do it all again, and in this painting I am trying to evoke that mood. When everyone else starts to pack up and you think ...lets stay just a bit longer....heaven .
I have painted this scene before , but today, at the tail end of summer with the wind and rain lashing down outside I wanted to be back on the beach ( if only in my mind) and remember that evening light, and the taste of the sea in the air
I have a rather grainy photocopy of a photo and here it is
But on the day I sat and painted it and today I would try again. I love the light on the water, the simple sky, everything and the fact I was there too, I am a part of this painting.
Begin by working out an horizon line and the wave lines. Who is going to be in the picture and how much detail to keep or remove. I also need to retain the light and here I have a dilemma. I need to use some masking fluid but I don't want too many harsh lines.
I add it ( watered down) with a paper clip
I am trying to be a watery as I can
Next I do the sky, the horizon line will be described as the bottom of the sky is darker than the sea. I want a purple, blue sky but very subtle, the star of this piece is the boy running from the sea, the feeling of at the end of a salty, seasidey day.
Then I very carefully paint in the sea with a weak wash of indigo, and while it is wet I add a darker concentration of indigo to describe the waves. I also want to leave white spaces for the foam. Be brave and go for it, and if it looks ok, leave it.
Now to add the figures, still using indigo. remember to add their reflections, and the light. This was my eureka moment I spoke about earlier in this blog. When I limited my palette and tried to capture this evening light I realised my watercolour could do something I liked and that was of the sea, I guess it is part of developing a style, it truly is a 'high' to produce a piece that moves me forward and that feels uniquely 'me', and sharing it with you is a bonus.