Monday, 15 January 2018

#284 'Beach Huts, West Wittering' 8x10"


I was drawn to this subject but wasn't sure if I could paint it! I enjoyed painting the huts that morning so I thought I'd try.
The reflections adding an extra element and interest - it had been a recent high tide and puddles were left.
I used my viewfinder to honed in to the colours and shapes I liked.

This is how I started blocking in the darks using a thined dark blue or brown - Ultramarine & Burnt Sienna. Remembering to repeat everything if it's reflected in the puddle.  

Beach huts are wonderful subject, but I didn't want them to look cute and twee if you know what I mean. So I painted them loosely - not too many straight lines or crisp edges.
The water reminded me a bit of snow quite light in tone and soft edges again, the shape was fun too.

It was the first day of using my brand new pochade, see below:
It's called an Alla Prima Pochade by Ben Haggett in America.
It's easy to set up, well built and nice to use but not comfortable yet, I used my previous pochade - Open Box M 150+ times, time will tell! 
I will do a blog on pochades and tripods soon....

Saturday, 13 January 2018

#283 'Morning Walk, West Wittering' 8x14"


A lovely morning a couple of days ago with strong low winter sunshine.

When I paint I try and work on it as a whole without spending too much time on one area but there is often a part in a painting that I avoid or leave longer than other areas this time it was the beach huts. I wasn't sure how I'd tackle them..... I massed in the darks - squinting my eyes to see the shapes, making it either blue or brown. Painting them loosely and without regiment - matching how they were. Then being bold with the light tones on the fronts of the huts. Also picking up the light on the top of the groynes there's not much there but it makes a difference to the feeling of light.
The sky I found tricky as the sun was so bright I couldn't see it to determine the colours! But happy with how it turned out.

The lady looked good in her long coat and helped with the composition as there was a gap there, I put her and the dog in quickly in one basic dark colour, adding light and the shadow after.

I tried out my new pochade on this painting, the light was too glary to get a good location shot of it so will post it on the next painting which was also at the Wittering's.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

#282 'Bosham Channel' 8x18"


A gorgeous morning ones of those days when everything works out and even the painting! 
I went with painting friend Sarah Manolescue, the sun was low and contra jour with great sparkling light on the water.
These are the first stages see pic below:
I put in the light on the water and the sky first, as they would change the quickest. 
The sun on the water was so bright I looked up to try and observe whats there and looking back at the board and my eyes were dazzled and couldn't see the board surface or palette of colours! So when the sun went in it was good to see how it was looking :-)

The distant horizon line of land I put in quickly and roughly not too much detail. Just suggesting shapes especially the witches hat of Bosham Church.
The channel marker posts I tried to do in one sweep down of the brush, no fussing!
I enjoyed the bigger board size and used bigger brushes especially on the sky. 
The board - wood block, (see pic below) is different to my usual ones and gave a nice finish - it really makes a difference what surface you paint on to the end result.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

#281 'Last Light, Seaford' 8x14"




This one I scraped off after nearly covering the board as I wasn't happy with it and liked the light better as the sun was setting - warm apricots.
It does seem to take a while to get to know a place, especially a new subject like white cliffs! 
Scrapping off gave a nice base to work over, which I did some on location but finished today in the studio. I realised I hadn't pitched the cliffs light enough so lifting them in tone meant I needed to lift everything else as well. I left some of the original painting showing through to give a more interesting finish.


Here is my palette of colours.
I took this pic after the sun had gone down.




Thursday, 4 January 2018

#280 'Rock Study, Seaford' 8x10"


We had four days in East Sussex, a wonderful coastline with chalk cliffs and rocky outcrops. Having not painted white cliffs before they are a challenge! It's all about the tonal values, everything was tonally close together the sea sky and cliffs, not easy! Very paintable though I could keep painting this subject for a while.

I felt I needed to do a study honing in on the rocks to really observe them and not try and make a 'pretty painting' but just paint what's there!


Squinting my eyes I could see the sticky out rock was darker than the sky, so I put it in first then the sky around it, doing that I could judge the rock was too dark, so I adjusted it's tonal value. 

Because there was a lot of grey neutral colours I compared them to each other asking the question is this warmer or cooler e.g. The sky was cool and the rocks warmer.

When I was painting this Monet came to my mind as I could imagine him liking this scene.

Meanwhile the tide was coming in and the seas were getting bigger! I kept thinking I was going to get dumped on, each break of wave crashing - see pic:

A lady warned me and said if I stay in this spot I would get cut off by the tide. So that put a bit of injection into my painting to finish! I left my spot and about 10 waves later the whole area was engulfed in water, a close escape!