On reflection

On reflection

So after a week away , and 2020 being the year it has been we all have a lot to reflect on. I can't begin to imagine the year some folk have endured , losing people they love and not being able to be with them ....and carers having to be people's families and loved ones at the most difficult of times. 

We owe a lot of people so much.

Many of us , thankfully haven't been through that trauma but we have suffered , being away form people who mean the most, missing contact with friends, feeling isolated and frightened of the future. I think there is a collective anxiety amongst us. So seeing family last week and spending time together was precious, and these months apart have taught us what we value most, our humanity.

Little things mean so much, nature has become a solace for so many, I thought I was close to nature before, but this year  has been special. The few bedding plants I could get my hands on have been nurtured and enjoyed more than ever .Daily exercise in the open air was treasured by us all , being able to wonder that the earth keeps turning despite everything is a comfort.

So this week I thought I would share how I capture reflections on a beach, the sea is my special place, it makes me feel happy and at peace. A special moment can endure for a long time and memories are what make us who we are, how lucky we are if we can conjure them up when we need them most.

First I find a photo with clear reflections on it 


Then you need to carefully sketch that onto your watercolour paper

I use what I have when painting a piece, so use a ruler to get the horizon line if it helps.

and something round for the sun

I use a small piece of masking tape cut to size for the sun

Next I add a piece of masking tape to create a crisp horizon

and I can begin on the sky.

 Keep horizontal lines, Wet the paper first. Cerulean blue at the top. merging into yellow ochre, add some cadmium red and a touch of cad red and cobalt blue closest to the horizon.

When dry you can remove the masking tape, carefully pulling close to the paper. 

next I add indigo for the sea, and some yellow ochre and indigo in the beach

I have added some darker indigo for the waves.

I also took out some paint with a damp piece of kitchen roll to reflect the sunlight on the sea.

Now to begin on the figures, the focal point of the painting, They will be the darkest colour. I use a small brush that comes to a good point so I can paint them crisply 

I mix some indigo in a puddle on my palette and paint from that

Now paint the figures very carefully , keep adding paint to your brush or the lines may go scratchy 


Be very careful as a wonky line can look very odd on a person.



 Now let them dry

Now we can begin the reflection, I turn the board upside down and paint horizontally.

I pull a damp clean brush across the reflection so it gives the illusion of a wet beach, everything is done in indigo.

Finish both figures and then add some interest in the foreground.

A relatively simple piece, but it says so much, times together are so precious and painting them cements them in the mind. I do hope you all manage to make some memories this summer, or perhaps remember happier summers in the past, 

As we move into autumn, we can keep connecting and painting together.



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Beautiful! I want to try this, wonderful instructions.

Patti Branson

Wonderful, clear instructions. I’m going to have a go.
Thank you

Susan Brown

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