Well, I couldnt resist taking a few pictures of this couple down at our local lake, feeding the birds. More so, because it was into the sun and the birds sang out like jewels – helped by the dark shadow cast by one of the stores in the nearby retail park. Then there was the plastic bag held by the woman, the biggest diamond, catching the sunlight.
Not one I’d like to do plein air neither for its complexity nor because of the chill wind down there that day, but it was a nice little exercise in the warmth of my studio, arranging and adjusting the players and building up the tones.
Now all the planned exhibitions have either finished or are currently running I can stop painting local scenes and start playing around a bit more. This is a half imperial size (56x76cm) watercolour – so double the size of watercolour I’ve been painting of late.
I’m not sure of its commercial value, but working into light is something I love doing. In this case it was a low evening sun washing a golden glow over the subject and casting long violet shadows. Not to forget the transparent feather tips of the gulls which seemed to carry their own illumination, particularly when set against the shadows. So I got a great deal of satisfaction doing it.
I’m not sure of the sentiment of feeding gulls and pigeons; as all you end up doing is increasing the population and teaching them to rely on people for food. But I did like the guy struggling with his plastic bag full of breadcrumbs, perilously close to having the bag being whipped from his hands by an impatient gull.
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.
Down to Plettenberg bay. We had a 10k walk along the Robben Peninsular which, I was told later, a few dont return from. At the end it was hard going but we made for a pristine beach where the breakers pounded in and I rested my weary bones and did this sketch after cooling my feet in the crystal sea.
Another sketch from the same area on a different day. The cliffs tower above you though I think rockfalls are rare, they do occur from time to time.
I was watching some TV about seabird colonies in Scotland and the scenes of the wild sea made me want to try some techniques I saw in a book by Nita Engle. There is no brushwork in this painting except to use them to flick paint onto the paper and a little bit to finally render the seabirds. She actually uses an applicator to squirt the paint onto the paper so that you can get regression with the waves – a degree of control that you cant achieve by flicking.
I did a second painting – Headland – which more reflected the programme, although the headland just appeared out of the marks so I did use a bit of brushwork to bring it to prominence .
I might use some pipettes I have to mimics the spray application and gain a bit of control with the waves. However I do love the wildness that this approach brings. So I might bore you with another one soon.