Friday, May 2, 2014

Porthcurnick beach in summer

Porthcurnick beach in summer
Oils on canvas
14" x 18" 

I spent some time finishing off the demo painting from the weekend, as I was really pleased with the way it was going. It's got a lovely freshness of colour reminiscent of early summer. The sea in Cornwall often looks that gorgeous turquoise colour on a bright sunny day. 

What I wanted to show you in particular are some close up shots so that you can see the nature of the brushwork. For me it is incredibly important to see brush marks in a painting. They are as individual as handwriting, and they tell you a story about how the painting was crafted and what the artist was feeling. They remind you that you are looking at paint on a flat surface, and then when you stand back a few yards everything falls into place and becomes an illusion of space and depth.

A pleasing mix of thin and thick paint, and visible brush marks 

Up close it's just a few light and dark marks

Enough description to read as figures

It also demonstrates how little information you need to give the viewer for them to understand and read the painting. Take the section below for example. When you look at the whole painting from a reasonable viewing distance this reads as a distant headland with buildings and grass, trees, rocks and boats. What is it actually in terms of paint when you take a closer look? Very little information has been given but your mind fills it all in.
The trick is to give the right information I suppose!

Enough information


  1. This is a wonderful post! I agree wholeheartedly about letting the brushstrokes tell the story. You put it just perfectly. It's a lot harder than folks think. And it takes miles and miles of canvas to be able to pull it off! You do such a great job!


Thank you for your words!

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