Sunday, July 14, 2013

Going to the beach

On location between Portscatho and Porthcurnick
You've already seen this painting on the easel in the field, literally, but I wanted to show you the step by step photos that I took along the way. The painting took around three hours to complete, on the hottest day of the year so far. This stretch of coastline is known as the Cornish riviera.

I started with a pretty careful drawing (with the brush and a turpsy mix of paint) to plan everything in and see how it all fits together. I was standing next to one of the main footpaths leading from the car park down to the beach, so there were quite a few people walking past me and I had the idea from this early stage that I'd like to put somebody into the painting for extra interest.

I chose this lady with her straw hat and orange bag, so I had to paint her in quickly while she was still fresh in my mind.

I then wanted to remind myself that the sunlit sand on the beach was one of the lightest values.

From there to the colours of the distant cliffs. I was extremely particular about getting the tonal values right. I think one of the hardest jobs in painting is to paint an area with different colours that have to be almost exactly the same in value, as in a distant landscape like this. I was already uncomfortably hot, but I wasn't slacking!

The next big challenge was getting in the sky and sea with the right colour bias and even more importantly the right relationship of tonal values between each other and the distant land.

Buoyed up by the results of that struggle, I needed to get some greens going to cover this foreground area and from there it was just a skip, hop and a jump to....

 darkening up the foreground greens plus some detailing on the little tree and filling in the missing gaps before hot footing it out of there quite literally... I was so very hot.

Little did I know that a delicious lunch was waiting for me at the Hidden Hut!

I'm sorry that the link didn't work yesterday for the Harbour Gallery in Portscatho, hopefully this one will! 


  1. Lovely greens - I find it hard to get the distance light enough. It's really good to see your process. I'm trying to do it in 1 hour - perhaps that's why I'm struggling! Lunch venue looks good too.

  2. Fantastic post, thanks for showing your stages. Beautiful result, looks like a great spot to paint.
    What size brushes did you use for this Haidee?

    1. Oh Glynn, tricky to say which ones I used now! I will try to pay more attention and list the brushes used in a future blog post. Thanks for asking :-)


Thank you for your words!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...