I vividly remember back in my high school days, an oil painting of waves crashing onto a beach. I can’t remember who painted it , but that was 46 years ago! What I still recall though was how “cool” I thought that painting was.
In those days I was afraid to paint water, now I’m not. I’m confident today because I understand what water is “about”.
I have spent countless hours staring at waves as they roll in and crash onto pristine Australian beaches. I have stood under waterfalls, waded streams, snorkelled over coral, watched floods, tasted the salty air of oceans, walked countless kilometres on beaches where the only footprints belonged to me and Val, my wife. I’ve put the hard yards in, but there’s still so much to learn.
It’s not a matter of copying a photo and declaring that you have mastered its contents.
Water deserves the upmost respect, as do all subjects that we paint.
My recent 12-month holiday still sits in the front row of my memory. I have seen and experienced things that even I find difficult to share with anyone. I had a front row seat visiting things that I know could only be created by God.
How does one express such a journey in coloured pencil?
I am now revisiting my trip daily in my studio. I am surrounded by photos ,and there are more in a pile on a table, plus there’s 10,000+ in my laptop.
Today’s featured painting, Catch of the Day, is not from my trip, but another that I did in 2009 to St. Helens on Tasmania’s Northeast coast. I have painted this (and have another in production) as a refresher. I haven’t painted water for some time, so I thought it was best to do some “practice”.
This painting has 4 horizontal layers. From the top: moody sky, raging sea, a bubbling, foamy rock pool and finally, calm water.
I painted the raging sea then moved down the painting and I completed the sky last. I wanted to get the intensity of the sea first, because it sets the mood for the painting.
The scene was interesting, but it needed a focal point, hence the sea gulls. The two in flight lead one’s eye to the subject, a seagull feasting on a small fish.
I’m pleased with this one and as stated earlier, there’s another one is on the way. It’s the same beach, but to the left of this painting.