Friday, August 29, 2014

Pressing on to Port Orford

“Cape Blanco from Paradise Point”
(Port Orford, Oregon Coast)
Oil Sketch on Centurion Oil Primed Linen Panel
With additional coat of Rublev Lead Primer
4” x 6”

Moving south from Bandon thirty miles brought me to Port Orford, and a wayside park called Paradise Point at the end of a road just a bit north of the town.  Here there is a view several miles up to Cape Blanco, the western most point on the Oregon Coast, with its lighthouse just sticking up a bit from this angle.  The wind was up (what’s new), but it being a warm day (low 70s F), it was not bad for a stroll down along the beach.  In the stretch of the dune grass on the way back up to the carpark on the bluff, I stopped to do to drawings in my pocket sketchbook; one of Orford Reef, and the other of Cape Blanco in the distance with the dune grass in the foreground, and an almost tropical green sea riddled with whitecaps in between.  North of Cape Blanco it seems the sea is much more of blue grey, or greenish grey, but I’ve not seen it this jade green as here seen; not even this morning as I drove along the scenic views route as I left Bandon.

I chose a 4” x 6” linen panel, again as it is marginally longer in shape than the 5” x 7” panels I’ve been using.  I began with a number 6 bristle brush (½-inch wide), and started in on the white lead primed linen panel, painting the sky with Cerulean and Cobalt Blues; no imprimatura.  The other pigments used were the usual suspects of Yellow Ochre, Venetian Red and Cremnitz White with one additional colour … Viridian since I needed its purity for the wondrous green of the sea.  I also mixed Velasquez Medium from Rublev with the Cobalt Blue, Viridian and the touch of Yellow Ochre used only for the Sea, with no white pigment.  Velasquez Medium is an oil and calcite mixture which lightens the pigments it s mixed with without losing the brightness of the pigment, as would happen when mixed with a white pigment.  I’ve not used this medium much before and I was quite surprised when I didn’t need to use any white; I had thought that I might have to use a little, but no; I did not.  This calls for further experimentation.  I used Titanium White for the whitecaps only, as well as for the miniscule stroke for the lighthouse.  The same bristle brush was used throughout the painting, except for the detail on the Cape itself, the whitecaps and the lighthouse; for these the same tiny round sable that I sign my paintings was used. 

I’m up on a mountain top with a view of the sea; the stars have come out and only a few lights 25 miles or so down the coast near Gold Beach are visible.  I plan to return the 6 miles down to Port Orford again tomorrow, as I spotted a couple more places to paint, and at least one of them should be out of the worst of the wind.

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