Inspired by the sea, painting outside

Inspired by the sea, painting outside

As you may know if you follow my social media pages I have just returned from an inspirational week at Sennen Cove in the far west of Cornwall. It is an area we visit often as a family and a place that almost demands to be painted.



Although I paint every day, painting while sitting on a beach or up on a cliff top is a whole new kind of fun altogether. Once you start to look ,you want to try to find a way to translate the view onto paper ( and there are as many ways of doing that as there are artists to do it). I think ( hope) these pieces have a real sense of place and a spontaneity to them that I can try and use when I return home. But I also think they have a value in their own right , they say all that needs saying about a moment on a beach or a view from a holiday cottage.

Let me tell you how I go about on the spot watercolouring .....

I take just the essentials . My paint box, and 4 or 5 brushes of different sizes



A scraper , I always like a scraper....



You can make quick marks on the paper , create grasses , twigs or seaweed anything you like. Try to respond to what you are seeing.

Find a good spot, some shelter from the wind, a good view, somewhere where you won't be interrupted by passers by ( maybe) and a water supply.....


I was lucky with our holiday home as I didn't have to go far.....

But this one was painted right on the beach while the children surfed and others played beach cricket



Take your chances when you can, and I guarantee you will remember the scene and the day much better than any photo.

Make sure your paper is well secured with masking tape



and I also take a fold up water carrier


and some kitchen roll and you are ready to go.....



The more you do the more you want to do, you see so much more of your surroundings and you 'feel' a part of the place.


I have added my 9 Cornish sketches to the 'original art' section of the website in case they are of interest to you , they are priced accordingly as they don't take as much time as a studio piece. But they do contain ( I hope) an essence of the places I have been and the Cornwall that I love, 

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This is such a gorgeous picture, and it’s a place I love dearly. Thank you!

Ruth Waterton

I’ve stumbled across your site while searching for some help with painting watercolour robins. By the way your instructions have been very, very helpful and I have produced robins that don’t look like strange dinosaurs!
I last went to Sennen Cove when my children were small – they are now 38, 36 and 35. We had a lovely afternoon although their father refused to leave our camper on the grounds it was drizzling! I have such fond memories of the cove and your photos and paintings brought back those memories. Thank you, Liz

Liz Tredrea

Great blog post and wonderful paintings.I got a real sense of what it was like being there.


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