Thursday, August 21, 2014

Finally … onto the Beaches

“Offshore Seamist Rising”
(Bandon Beach, Oregon Coast)
Oil Sketch on Centurion Oil Primed Linen Panel
With additional coat of Rublev Lead Primer
5” x 7”

Although there was still a wind from the North, it was not as strong as it has been for the past weeks, more of a stiff breeze, but I was determined to start painting the sea-stacks on Bandon Beach.  I decided to work below the south facing cliff of a promontory, where I painted once before last November.  There is a little ledge keeping one off the sand, and with a little overhang to keep the Sun off for part of the time.  The wind was gusty enough that fine sand sifted down from the cliff top throughout my painting session, and by the time I had finished it seemed as though I had been painting with sand.  I was not unduly worried since I have had this happen before, admittedly to a lesser extent.  Two days later when the work was touch dry I was able to brush off most of the sand from the sky and sea, and left a bit on the cliff and beach in the foreground to add texture.  The more stubborn flecks I disposed of with the judicious use of the tip of a scalpel blade … a very useful tool.  Perhaps I should have left more on as souvenirs.  It was a generally sunny day with cloud coming and going, and for the first part of the session there was an off shore bank of sea-mist moving from north to south with the breeze, which I was able to capture.  It never came onto shore, which I half expected, but remained out on the water just beyond the sea-stacks I was painting. 

Again I chose to lay down an imprimatura of Venetian Red, which was perfect in adding a warmth glowing through the cooler pigments brushed over it when depicting the rising bank of fog.  I used a bristle brush throughout, capitalizing upon its ability to add interesting texture to the painted surface.  In my Watercolour work I sometimes add interest to areas of a painting by building up thin layers with dry-brushed strokes and crosshatching using older brushes and splaying their hairs sort of like a leaf rake in shape; I’m getting a similar effect with the bristle brush lightly applying he paint at a shallow angle to the surface. 

The rest of the pigments used were Cerulean & Cobalt Blues, a little bit of Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ochre, Venetian Red, and Cremnitz & Titanium Whites.  Cerulean is used mainly in the sky & sea, with perhaps a little Cobalt Blue added, however Cobalt Blue is mainly used to make the lovely greys when combined with Venetian Red.  When a deeper toned grey is required, then Ultramarine replaces the Cobalt Blue in the mixture.  To be honest Ultramarine could replace Cobalt Blue throughout, but I like the softer greys produced with the Cobalt, as well as the quieter greens it produces.   A couple of minute touches of Cadmium Yellow Pale, hinted at the yellow flowers in the grasses on the top of the right hand island.

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