There are some small sandstone cliffs at the East end of Bexill in East Sussex from where you can view St Leonards and Hastings. I used to run along here when I was staying at my parents and in the morning light, the view can be enchanting.
In this painting it is the evening, when the light comes from behind he viewer and illuminates the edges of the low cliffs as well as the masses of wild flowers that grip the windy top. I originally painted the scene one evening when I was there last year, but without the flowers.
I wondered whether the flowers would enrich the view and thought that I would give it a go as part of a series of painting that I have done of the area.
I have mentioned a pile of problem paintings I have in my studio – paintings I like, but have a few issues with. This one directly above was an example. Mixing images and subjects resulted in the figure being too small for the railings and the colourings on the Bexhill Pavilion and the promenade being too dark and light respectively. So I had another go and produced the one at the top. I also took the opportunity to rearrange the figures.
I had similar issues with the painting looking the opposite way in the afternoon ( as opposed to the morning in the one above)
This one below was the first attempt;
The painting was odd in that I wanted to get the full width of the background buildings which consequently made for quite an expanse of foreground which was left a bit empty.
I hope this time the foreground has more presence and the figures aren’t as stiff. I also wanted to get more detail into the background to imply the jumble of structures there.
Lastly, there was the case of leaning Lord Street that I put out a few days ago. I thought that as I was on the topic of buildings I might as well round them all up. The one below was the original post.
So I set about it again and also tried to be a bit more subtle with the washes.
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.
The other side of the De la Warr Pavilion complex in Bexhill, East Sussex, at the opposite end of the day from my last post. The hot afternoon light coming in over the sailing club and the and the yacht masts adding to the visual commotion of chimney pots, lamp posts and flagpoles. On windier days you can hear ghostly ringing as rigging ropes slap against the hollow aluminium masts.
I did this scene plein air and posted it a few weeks back. The field of view was much wider on that one as I am a sucker for chimney pots and thought those buildings provided a good coda. This one is much tighter and focusses on the area which really got my interest. The light on the sea in the background also caught my eye when I was strolling along the prom on an earlier occasion. However, when I sat down to paint, the sea was dark, the lighting effect only came out later. Anyway, I included it on this one.
With family issues dominating of late I have had little time to paint. The day before yesterday we sat on Cooden Beach in Sussex and I sketched this scene with part of Beachy Head in the background – rather a sparse scene, I’m afraid, but time constraints pressed.
I also manage a couple of abstract pastel landscapes. I was just playing around with a loose idea, but when I reflected on the outcome, I was disappointed to see a woodland scene had evolved. Hopefully I can build on this – it certainly wasnt the vision I had in mind when I started. It never fails to amaze me how the mechanics of the process can take over and lead you away from where you wanted to be.
With so many distractions of late this painting was doomed. I debated long and hard about whether just to focus in on the party having afternoon tea, but the setting of the architecture also had appeal. In the end I regretted my decision as the pediments, columns and cornices just became a labour although I still like the contrast of the greys and whites against the corner of colour with the tea drinkers. Maybe its something to try again when things are a little less hectic. I might even have a go at the tea drinkers without the architecture.
I made this up from three photos. I loved the light coming in across the sea, illuminating the cracks in the groyne and making the wet pebbles sparkle. However the picture was a little dull without something else going on. I thought about putting some seagulls in, but decided upon the two guys who were fishing nearby who I had photographed, but with the sun. It meant I had to draw them the other way around and make up some shadow and highlights.
I have often walked in this direction in the evening on the Bexhill promenade in Sussex, England. The shapes of the buildings and the masts of the boats in the sailing club make intriguing shapes in the late afternoon light. I tried painting this but the large open space of foreground made it a little lifeless, even with the lead-in of the railings and beach huts on the left. In the end I added some figures. To some extent they seem to have taken over the scene, but I have tried to space them out so that the mass of buildings, masts and reflected light still make for a dynamic painting.
This painting is on my website grahammcquadefineart.com. Take a look.