AFTERNOON AT FORMBY POINT – PASTEL PAINTING

This was the last of a series I recently painted of our local coastline. They have familiar themes to others I have painted. In this one I liked the shadows cast by the nearest clump of marram grass and the distant beach as it drifts away into infinity. It is an expansive area of sand where, in some areas, you barely see a soul as you walk beneath the towering dunes.

This set of paintings gives me some choice when I come to select paintings for the exhibitions which are fast approaching.

Other seaside and beach paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

BACK TO THE BEACH – PASTEL PAINTING

With this painting I’m staying with the pastels and riffing on a familiar theme in preparation for upcoming exhibitions. I was pleased with the colours I got into this familiar view of the beach at Formby – simple pleasures, but I’m a simple man. I had to include some old fencing as I was demonstrating a similar painting at a club in Blackpool on Thursday, so the practice helped. Tomorrow I will be running a pastel workshop. Hopefully, after that, things will quieten down and I’ll try to explore some other themes and media, though I do want to do a larger version of the mixed media offering of breaking waves I posted a week or so ago.

Today I am off to a life session run by an old mate of mine. He told me that he has got a great model, someone I havent seen since before covid. I just hope we can get some good lighting as well.

Other seaside paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

MERSEY MORNING – ACRYLIC PAINTING

Sitting atop of a sand dune just south of Formby, I had a good view of the mouth of the Mersey. Reflective objects sang bright in the morning sun and I painted this view in watercolour, disturbed only by distant cries of gulls and lapwings. Not a bad way to start the day.

When I got home and looked at my endeavours I thought that pastel or acrylic would be a better medium for this painting. Eventually I plumped for acrylic because of the fiddly nature of the wind turbine and ship, though other aspects would have been easier in pastel.

I did debate about putting wind turbines in at all – there are quite a few more off to the right. In the end you got a token wind turbine and anyway, it adds a bit of balance to the piece.

Other views of the Mersey are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

CLIMBING TO THE TOP OF THE DUNE – PASTEL PAINTING

Undeterred by the sand flowing away from under your feet, you struggle on, brushing past the coarse marram grass and then glimpse sight of the sea. Now, you realise you’ve reached your objective.

This is the last of the short series of beach pastels I have been doing of late. All used the technique of underpainting with gouache and then overworking with pastel. I was trying to get a feeling of intimacy with this one, compared to the others which had a more panoramic detachment.

Other beach paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

EVENING ON BIRKDALE DUNES – PASTEL PAINTING

You may recall in the post before last the gloomy vista of rain clouds about to come over Birkdale beach – and I said it was part of a series, so here is the next one, a contrasting evening on the beach, with the sun hanging low and the light shimmering off the wet sands in the distance. I did this type of evening view in watercolour and it sold a year or two back, so I thought that I would try a version in pastels, placing tonal washes down in gouache first and then working over them in pastel as I had in my earlier pastel.

Mystery encroaches at this hour. The low light casts shadows and darkens ravines between marram covered dunes. Tracks of past beachgoers get highlighted by a glow on the raised edges that is then underscored by the shadow of the depression. Wisps of grass, catch the low sun and seem to glow against shadowed inclines. Soon the mystery will be complete.

Other beach scenes are available on my website for sale: grahammcquadefineart.com

THE VIEW FROM THE FORMBY DUNES – ACRYLIC PAINTING

I managed to sell a few paintings at an exhibition I held at my framers after Christmas. All of them were beach scenes. So, I just completed another view of the Formby beach from my visit last summer.

I like the remnants of the fences that stand forlornly in the shifting sands. I often wonder what purpose they served as they pop up in all sorts of strange places.

Other beach scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

BACK TO THE BEACH – PASTEL PAINTING

This morning I am taking some paintings into the pop-up gallery for my first collaborative exhibition in the run up to Christmas. This one will run for a month and I will have to do one day a week manning the shop and hoping for some healthy sales.

So now on to the second exhibition, in November. I have already sent in my list for the catalogue, but not all the paintings had been completed. This one above is the last of the eight I will be submitting. I felt I needed a local beach scene: similar to the one I am putting in today. I must admit I prefer that one, but what one person likes, another doesnt. Again it is of Formby beach, a popular destination in this area.

Other beach scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

A GLIMPSE OF THE SEA – PASTEL PAINTING

Well, I did warn you that I had gathered a lot of information on my last trip to Formby Beach. So here is another painting inspired by that visit. This one is fully illuminated by the sun, instead of looking into the light. Again, a glimpse of the sea breaking on the mud and sand in the distance and the sad remains of the old fence being devoured by the receding dunes. The sea is gobbling up the land here and I suppose it will get worse as sea levels rise. At the same time the sand gets pushed further inland.

Other seaside and beach paintings are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

AFTERNOON ON FORMBY BEACH – PASTEL PAINTING

I went down to Formby beach to get some visual information to enable me to complete a painting which I posted a week ago. I also gathered some more possible material for other paintings. The afternoon was well advanced and the low sun put the seed heads of the marram grass into silhouette. On this painting I was conscious of too many dark areas, because the bright light put a lot of the ravine into shade. Certainly, some shade was useful to counter change with the seed heads, but too much could make the whole thing very moody. So, to reduce this shade, I exaggerated the light filtering through the grasses.

I think the simple painting captures the feeling of place and time well.

Other seaside and beach scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

FRESHFIELD BEACH – PASTEL PAINTING

A friend was trying to contact me and went to my website to get my phone number and saw an image of the beach where she walks regularly. I had sold the one she spotted and she asked me to do another for her and this is the version I painted. Perhaps long time viewers recognise the view as I posted the first one a while ago.

I went down to the beach last week to see what the scene looks like now, but they have put a bigger fence on the left, so with her agreement I left it out. I like the spikey, old broken-down fence, particularly where it stands out against the sand below.

Anyway, whilst I was on the beach I took a few photos, so brace yourself for a set of beach scenes. I need some views for upcoming exhibitions that start to blossom prior Christmas and the beach at Formby is always popular.

Other beach scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com