koeel bay rocks

Here are two paintings I did of the rocks on the coast looking across to Koeel Bay.  


I did this first one a few years ago.   The actual picture is only slightly larger than this.  (Every other painting in this post is about 570x780mm).  I spent ages on the rocks.  Lots and lots of glazing.  The other day I was walking on the same stretch of coast and I saw my rock with a little pool in it.  It was like meeting an old friend.  

I did the next one a couple of years ago, for our local watercolour society exhibition where I recieved an award for the most creative watercolour.


There is a moment, maybe a minute when the sun first appears over the mountains to the right of the picture when these rocks really do take on these colours.  Otherwise they are full of pink greys.  Before this picture I did about five or six pictures that looked something like this:




and this:


Till it felt like I had these rocks coming out of my ears…  Hey, I can see the same rocks in the three different pictures.  I am not sure why that should surprise me but it seems quite fun somehow.

After doing all of these lovely rounded (quartzite and granite) boulders against the sharp shales on the shore I thought my pictures need people.  These boulders really want to be filled out.  So I did some people then I painted this picture:


This was rejected by for the next exhibition with the following comments.

“Some wonderful elements -rocks, water.  Picture somewhat segmented.  Figure too strong.  Picture needs “bringing together”. ”   This all seems fair comment.  I really like the rocks.  They were pretty much done ‘alla prima’ with some touching in a second wash.  And OK maybe a bit of a third.  But not much more.  I was doing this the morning before hand-in (as usual).  The model came from a photo.  

Here is a painting from the same area I did last year.  


Here is something:  I like the dark background and customisable header for this blog but I think it constrains the lateral dimension of my paintings.  Perhaps I should try another.


6 thoughts on “koeel bay rocks

  1. Stephen, the rocks are really stunning. I like the colours. I had a friend who used to say when looking at the colours of the sunset-clouds: “If you would paint this, people will not believe you.” That goes for your rocks, but we believe you, rocks can have wonderful colours! Cecily

    • Hey Cecily – thanks for the comment – I want to be able to show what is less than obvious in paintings. I drew some negative comments from those in “the know”. But that is also OK.

    • Hi Carol – thanks hey – I enjoyed painting her. My aim is to use the same technique for the rocks and the figure. We are cooking in Cape Town – My son was hoping they would close the schools due to the heat. This morning he and I paddled out in the dark for a surf before school. One day I will take a kit and do a morning painting out there – when the waves are small again. I am looking forward to seeing your next painting.

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