Today I finished work stuff and took Calvin down for a wave at the pipe. The waves were not big enough for him so I said I would have quick surf then he could use my long-board. There were great sets coming in. The waves were peaking at the outer reef then flattening out and breaking near the beach. I paddled out to the reef which felt far out as there was only one other surfer in the water and he stayed closer in. I felt a bit like an hors de oevre sitting out there thinking about the shark attack they had at Jongensfontein. Apparently a Great White knocked the guy off his board and he grabbed onto the sharks tail!!! He got away with one laceration on his calf and swam to shore praying fervently as he went. mmmm.
So after a few really nice rides I thought it was time to give Calvin a go (heh heh) and took one more wave and fetched him from the car where he was doing Mensa riddles from a pack of cards.
I sat in my normal spot, looking West. The sky was a riot of colour. We had had some rain while I was in the water then the sun came out. So there was blue sky and pearly grey clouds. And no wind. I took out my better brushes and my larger palette and off I went. Here is the progression:
You get a bonus here – FREE – my legs and one pink croc. I prop the paint box on my feet to take the photos. This was the first paint box I had made by my friend Ian Campbell in return for a painting. It fits my plastic palette and my sushi-roll of brushes as well as some tape, a folded liqui-fruit box (a local brand of fruit juice) and other heck of important bits and pieces.
Wash 1 – the sky and the beach:
I recently saw a book of Hokusai prints. He has this painting of Mount Fuji surrounded by clouds and the sky is the most beautiful grading of deep to light blue. The sky was just like that, giving way to rain clouds.
And here is the final
Just as I finished this Calvin came out to fetch his own board as the swell had picked up and there were some lovely waves coming through. I thought I would go in and have another wave. Then I looked at the watercolour I had just done and realised that the proportion was all wrong. The mountain was much MUCH too big! I had about half an hour of light left so I decided to have another go. So I ran to the car to fetch a tracksuit bottom and socks to go with my pink crocs. (o: much to the embarrasment of my son. As I settled down I reflected on how I had dodged having to put on a wet wetsuit. A career move! And the swell dropped – so…
Then I did this watercolour of the same scene. When I started Table Mountain was all but obscured by cloud but I could just make it out. So this is how it went:
Better sky hey? Hokusai pasop – here I come!
I did the mountain and the foreground because the raincloud was still too wet.
And here is the final, with which I am well pleased.
It was really much better using decent brushes. And both of these watercolours were done on Arches 300gm quartered sheets (11 x 15 inches) which is double the size I have been using for sketches like this. But with better brushes – not a problem to work with and more fun for some detail. (I have reposted the photo of the watercolour so that you can see it in a bigger format)
I have bought myself a nice fat squirrel hair mop – a number 8 Petit Gris Pur by Raphail. Not a travel brush but anyway. Tonight if all goes well I will give it a whirl. I did some splashing around on a piece of scrap – what a nice feeling.
I have been looking at brushes on the internet. Leslie told me about Dick Blick. They can send me a number 6 round travel brush for a reasonable price – worth a thought. But I saw something much much more desirable. Much much MUCH (with a capital M) more – A Craig Young Palette Box – Ai – time to sell off some of my work. Fast.