I did a sketch of this in an earlier blog and decided to have a go as a painting. I like the ethereal feeling the light gives and I managed to get the shimmer on the foreground marram grasses by scratching out rather than using masking fluid as I did in the sketch. For me, this approach yields a more dynamic and varied result.
I also tried to enhance the diagonal sweep of the dune forms to try and inject some dynamism to an otherwise staid subject.
I think this is the beach at Birkdale, but it could be anywhere north of Liverpool from Crosby to Southport as the morning light catches the marram grasses and the birds glisten out on the sandbanks.
I would like to get down there and get another piece of driftwood to modify my fish mobile, as with time on my hands, I have been looking at the mobile I posted a while ago and decided that an adjustment is required, but with restrictions getting tighter that can wait.
Maybe a sense of deja vu here, but this is a new painting. I did show an earlier version of this on a recent post but I decided to rework it on a long format sheet rather than force the bigger painting into a long format mount and lose people’s legs and dogs.
I thought that it was worth redoing as it is a popular location, with the start of Anthony Gormley’s Another Place on the beach on the right – I did include a couple of statues if you look hard enough. Anyway, it is popular enough for them to install parking payment machines in the car park you can see in the background.
Last Sunday was a fine day and we walked along the beach towards Crosby – the north end of Liverpool, where Gormley`s Another Place is sited. Coming up to the old Coast Guard Station you could see past Gormley’s statues on the beach and, over, across the Mersey, just spot the mist shrouded forms of Birkenhead. I took a few photos of the activity on the coastal path and decided to paint people enjoying a sunny January day.
I did a sketch and decided on a normal landscape format and started the painting on a half imperial sheet, which is my big size for watercolour. When I completed it I put a mat around it to see what it looked like framed. Then, on impulse, I tried a quarter imperial, long mount.
I realised my mistake. I should have done it as a long format painting.
The original is shown below.
What I have shown at the top is the truncated form of this lower painting. I have lost the dog and the front couple`s feet but also a lot of superfluous grass and sky.
I could do the long version again and push the people and dogs back, but at the moment I am deciding whether this is necessary.
With a house filled with guests, I havent done any painting over the past few days.When I was clearing space in my studio, I picked up a sketch book and spotted something I had done whilst on the beach in August – and here it is – squabbling gulls on the waterline: perhaps apposite in the circumstances.
The joke is that the sea goes so far out here, it always seems like low-tide.
I went down to the beach the other fine day to get some driftwood for a mobile I am making, which hopefully I will post shortly. There were some great cloud formations and whilst I was searching for suitable pieces I managed to find time to snap a few photos and later used them to give you a flavour of the beach here at Southport UK.
This was a painting of washes in three colours. One was the staining winsor blue, green shade, which sometimes has a mind of its own – so there was some trepidation as I applied the paint. I wanted the calm that a wash can, in my opinion, create.
Looking at this now I might give the man a bit more of his head, though he could have his collar up or be looking down and I did ponder footprints in the foreground but decided that the reflections might cover them up anyway, I think the calm lead-in is crucial.
I just wanted some fun: a break, so I upped myself off to Camps Bay near Cape Town by gathering together some of my old photos and painting me a little time on the beach.
The yellow of the umbrella is just the base colour left untouched. I use yellow as a priming colour as I have a big tin of it that was on offer. I then blocked in the image with square brushes. I liked the shapes created by the two under the shade with a few sunlit edges creating hints as to the form – and then the colours of the umbrella…
Other beach scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com
I have been fighting with floral paintings recently and not getting very far. I need an image for an upcoming demo and fortunately I have a bit of time to come up with something. So, I just wanted a break – a different subject, to set the juices running – and following on from my last post ( which was itself a trial for another demo) I thought that I would return to feel good paintings – if nothing else but to make me feel good. This was a treat to paint this – mainly washes of luscious colours. First the sky, the sea and the beach then, when that was dry, the tree and bushes etc in one hit, mixing colours on the paper. Again, I let that dry before extending the dark area of shadows, people and paraphernalia dropping in bright colours into the shadow and leaving small gaps for the chinks of light. After that, all I needed to do was paint the two front figures and those in the distance, then add a bit of texture in the sand. It was done by lunchtime – my kind of painting – putting me in a happier frame of mind.
Incidently, the beach scene was from photos I took whilst painting the scene below which I posted in February. It was a beach in Thailand – great subjects where ever you looked. I then added the front figures from other sources.