Stormy seas

Stormy seas

I think we can all agree that the past 12 months have been anything but calm . Perhaps that is why I seem to have wanted to paint dark stormy seas this year, who knows ? But I do love the sea, in all it's guises , on a lovely calm summer's day or during a wild, windy November storm, it is fascinating and never ever the same. 

I have tried this year to celebrate what I have, and value the natural world . Don't get me wrong I am no saint, I have sworn at the T.V., felt fed up about everything and missed my friends and family . However this has been a time when I have felt connected to the world too, I can sympathize with countries around the globe as we are experiencing what they are, I do hope this can maybe be some kind of reset button, and one that teaches us what is important and one where we start to take more care of the planet, not less.

Anyway enough of my thoughts on 2020, I know it has been easier for me than it has been for a lot of folks, I can go a daily walk near to home and be surrounded by views like this

and this 

and I can escape to my studio, connect with all of you ...and loose myself in a world of watercolour loveliness.

I have begun this year to finally find a way that works for me, to paint waves. I have been trying for years and years, so all those people who despair, please don't, just keep trying. You'll get there.

I began this piece with an old sketch of Exmouth, this entire painting comes from my imagination, great, as there is no looking at views or photos just freedom.

I washed some of it off under the tap, but it was my basis for the storm clouds to gather, and the moon to rise.

First I added my moon.

I began by wetting an area of sky where I wanted the moon to go.

Then I added masking fluid onto the damp paper ( I didn't know you could do this , until someone showed me) , you see we are all always learning. This softens the edges and makes the shape look more organic. Try it.

I used a silicone tool to add the masking fluid.

Then leave it to dry completely 

You can tell it's completely dry when no masking fluid comes onto your finger when you touch it.

Oh no look at my fat painty finger!

Now onto the sky, I use yellow ochre first 

You can see the outline of the moon more clearly now, this is all wet in wet and I want to fdrop in darker clouds.

Clouds get smaller and thinner towards the horizon. I used Indigo, and a mixture of cobalt blue and cad red. I also let some yellow shine through ,to show  where the light is.

Now onto the waves

I paint over everything that was there but leave some white highlights, you don't need to do this over an old sea painting, but it works for me, I feel like I am adding depth to the original, The sea in all it's forms is contained in my piece. ( Get me getting all arty) I use Indigo, and yellow ochre to reflect the light in the sky.

Now I protect my sky with some paper and let rip with some white acrylic for the crest of the waves and the foam. These are roughly in horizontal lines, wave shapes.

Now to darken under the waves, and manipulate the acrylic with my finger ( which is getting more and more painty as I go). Remember to use anything that will make the mark you want don't restrict yourself to brushes.

And my stormy sea is done. 

I am on a journey of discovery with my painting , every time I have felt stuck, something or someone has come along and pushed me through the barrier. I hope I can do that for some of you.

My painting is a form of escapism, it has kept me relatively sane this year, I do hope you have a form of escape too, even if it's reading my blog every week, doing the garden, baking a cake, putting up shelves, doing a jigsaw, whatever it's to the small light in the  darkness in the coming months.


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Really like the art and your sentiment


Water colour is a tricky medium and constantly challenging. at least it has been for me. I find myself trying to figure out how an artist starts and proceeds with a particular painting. So it is particularly gratifying to follow through your process. Thank you for sharing.

Keith Cains

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