WWM #16: Relaxing

Painting and relaxing at the beach are perfect expressions of this prompt for #WorldWatercolorMonth2019.

Relaxing – so what comes to mind? I thought of ways I like to relax – reading, going on a hike, baking, going to the beach. The beach won! No matter what the mood, the shore is always a place to relax. Soft wind, strong wind; soft cloudy skies or fierce rain; vast stretches of sand, rocky coasts that are difficult to walk upon.

I don’t do beach sand very well. I dug out a great book, “Take Three Colours: Watercolour Seascapes” by Geoff Kersey.  It’s a nice book for beginners as it explains so many things and techniques, works with a limited palette, and a few brushes.  His samples are illustrated number by number.  I rather like them as they make me think differently – I am a magpie and I go for  50 different colors, not 3!

WWM #16: Relaxing – #1, from a study in “Watercolor Seascapes” by Geoff Kersey

Thus, I warmed up with Kersey’s study called “Sand Dune” – perfect for the beach, I would say.  Not my best, but it was a study in techniques, not a work of art.  Techniques included mixing greens and terra cotta.  I had to substitute Organic Vermilion for his WN Light Red, and play a bit, but I limited myself to the Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Yellow along with the OV.

WWM #16: Relaxing – Path to the Sea

Warmed up, off to Pixabay!  I wanted something simple and beachy.  This sandy path to the foggy horizon got my attention.  No, you cannot see the ocean, but you know it’s there!  I tried to catch the subtlety of a the fog in the distance, aiming to soften the grasses as the painting moved into the distance.  I also wanted to keep it warm – the foggy day with a bright sun trying to break through.

WWM #16: Relaxing – Sea Grasses Along the Shore

Another image from Pixabay.  I may have painted it before.  There is something so lovely about this beach – deserted, alive with plants and animals, the slap of water on the shore.  I can smell the sea, too:  salty, briney, a bit rank from marshlands.  This painting is also more complex.  I am not sure if I got the sense of distance correct (I have no depth perception), so I worked at making distant items simpler and paler / bluer.  The grasses nearer the beach perhaps could have less detail.  Hmmmm.

WWM #16: Relaxing – Storm Along the Pacific Shore

Finally, a painting from a photo I took several years ago when my friend Glenn and I hit the Central Coast of California, north of Santa Barbara.  We visited Refugio Beach and El Capitan Beach.  I cannot recall which one this was, but the mood was one of wind and cold, and a storm coming or going.  The Pacific was dark, as was the sky; the wind was blustery.  Altogether, it was an adventure!  We were cold and shivery, but so pleased with just being out in the wind and weather.

Of all of the paintings, the last two are my favorites for different reasons.  I painted for about 5 hours, too.  Relaxing?  You bet!  I love the beach, and it was a delight to paint it today.

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