Sunset over the Sea

I’ve been unwell for the last few days and haven’t been able to paint.  I’ve found it incredibly frustrating.  I was in bed for a couple of days and ended up dreaming about painting!  Fortunately when I got sick I was over a week ahead with this blog so I’ve been able to avoid missing a day when I would normally post.  I saw a doctor and got some antibiotics about a week ago so I’m beginning to turn the corner now, although I’m still unfeasably tired and feel really rough when I run out of paracetamol.

I have been able to spend some time reading about painting and watching some more you-tube videos.  One that I saw which was really good (although the lady, Lindsay Weirich,  doing it does advertise a photography site which provides royalty-free images a couple of times) was all about painting sunsets.  Her video is here.  This fitted in nicely with the studying I’m doing in my watercolour book which was talking about how to do a good varigated wash.

So I had a go at a ‘Sunset over the Sea’ scene.

I didn’t want to do a boat because boats bob around on the surface and I wanted something solid in my picture where sea and sky change and move and settle.  So in my composition I used a couple of rocks and linked then with the atmosphere with some distant seagulls.  Like Lindsay Weirich, I wanted to use gentle subtle colour in my picture and this meant that my camera struggled to pick up on this – so apologies if these colours are not too visible.)

Here’s my varigated wash:

p1 washI mirrored the colours from the sky into the sea with violet at the top and bottom of the picture, then a pink made from  a watered down red and then a yellow with a little red in it.

As my watercolour training book says I got my paint washes ready before I started so I could work fast.

p0 paints

I wet the paper first and then just went for it.

Once I’d got the wash done I made a mistake and forgot to pull off the paint I needed for the clouds.  So I wet the paper again and then pulled off the paint.  Not as much came off as I wanted but it was still noticeable so I carried on.

p2 washwith cloudsremoved

Then I painted the clouds using paynes grey with some purple in it and then added some more yellow clouds with a tiny bit of red to take the bright edge off.  I painted my rocks in several washes because I wanted them to have some texture despite being quite dark.  I made the nearest rock slightly darker to give the picture a bit of depth and then darkened some of my clouds to balance the tones in the picture a little better.  Then I popped in a couple of gulls in the distance (which was really scary because I could so easily have made a big unrecoverable mess of it) and I was done.

sunset rocks_FIN_WEB

Looking at the final painting, although the colours are deeper than is shown here, they are still too weak for me I think.  This is the first time with the new paints that I’ve been weaker than I wanted colourwise – previously I’ve always been stronger than planned.  So I am pleased about this as I am finally  learning to control the chroma of these new paints. (‘Chroma’ is an artist’s word I learned while reading when I was stuck in bed – it means how intense the colour is – I think!)  The other thing I would change is to push the horizon more strongly and work out how to make some watery marks on the sea part of the picture to distinguish it from the sky a bit more.  Still – I am pleased with the sky – I think its the best I’ve done so far.

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