Sea Stacks

Along the coasts of many countries, the upper northwest of the US, there are sea stacks. Some are barren rock, some are topped by trees. Wide beaches at low tide make these places a bit of wonder, and those further out to sea make you want to sail out, climb, explore. I always have a fantasy of a house built into one, hidden away from the rest of the world. I could make a trip to just find sea stacks.

Hurricane Weather

Another beach scene, and a building! Am I on a roll or what? Here, something very simple, but when you think about how the painting was made, perhaps not so simple.

The lone, cylindrical shape heeds shadow and sun, and standing against the sky, It needs to be obviously separate. I could have used masking fluid to create the hard edges, but I didn’t. Instead, I painted around the lighthouse, starting at an edge and then puling the colors out. I did okay on the left side, but the right side was more problematic. Oh, well. Still, I rather like the end result given the challenge of the multi-colored sky.

Fires, hurricanes, and now snow in the middle of the country. What’s going on!?

Breaking Fog

Another study of an Oregon coastline. Morning fog with a bit of sun breaking through.

I must admit, I am really pleased with how this painting turned out. It seems that returning to the scene (of the crime?) is helpful, as well as working in different media. I did this same scene in watercolor a bit ago, and I plan to do it in pastels as well.

Done on Arches 7×10 inch hot press 140# watercolor paper. Hot pressed paper seems to be the best choice for gouache. Time to order some more!

A Lonely Coastline

Continuing my water and fog series, and my simplification attempts as well. Here, another deserted coastline, with a few birds.

What is it about a lonely beach? It’s spooky, it’s sad, it’s exciting, and quiet. If the sun is trying to break through, the warmth begins to disperse the fog. Hopeful. Sun. If it is heavy weather, the sky lowers and threatens. Cold. Damp. Dangerous.

Fluid paper, limited palette of ultramarine, sap and Hooker’s greens, burnt umber and raw sienna, and a bit of alizarin. Probably other colors, too – hard to remember where the brush wandered.

Caribbean Beach

The Caribbean is a magical area – palms, sunny, sandy, windy, brilliant light, azure waters – and a place of terror, such as the fury of hurricanes, and in the olden days, pirates!  Here is California we also have such brilliance, but our hells are fires and earthquakes.  It seems there is always a counterpoint for something.

Beach Study

I like the beach, in case you haven’t noticed.  Grass, sand, cliffs, water, wind.

I broke down and did a value study for this scene.

Of course, I did it on an accessible page in my sketchbook, but since I did the study before the painting, I knew where I wanted lights and darks.  As I worked, I pulled dark areas together to contrast with lighter / brighter areas.  I mixed my colors using zinc white, but this time used titanium white straight out of the tube to highlight the ocean waves.

I’ve been wondering why people say “zinc for mixing, titanium for highlights.”  Zinc is a transparent white, so it blends with gouache and watercolors without distorting the values.  Titanium is a more opaque white, and as a result good for highlights, but not recommended for color mixing.

 

WWM #23: Beach Fun

I guess if I was a true plein aire painter, I would be outside at the beach recording “Beach Fun” for #WorldWatercolorMonth2019.  Alas, it is not to be.

Sort of “meh” about this one.  It was a lot harder to do than I thought it would be – what is more simple than a pail and shovel?  Well, it was!  It’s like there are 3 different styles here – none of which match or integrate well.  I like the shadows on the sand the best.

This one, I will say, makes me feel pretty good.  I like the surf board and the highlights on the leash.  As well, the foggy sky with the sun breaking through is a far cry from my usual blue skies.  Overall, the atmosphere is good for beach fun, I think.

I really cannot say how much I am enjoying painting in gouache!  Like watercolor, there are times it makes me crazy, but as I do more and more painting, it is beginning to make sense.  Some of the colors I have are not what I really like, and it is easy to get muddy, just as in watercolor.  Letting things happen is also part of gouache, as in watercolor, but that is the beauty of any art form – it can go places you never expect and create some lovely, happy accidents.