boulders beach watercolour project – take #2

Here is the final image version of this watercolour.

Boulder-2-8N

The above image was taken outside in the shade on a sunny day.

Here is the same image taken indoors the night before with a flash:
Boulder-2-7N

The warmer colours  are nearer to the actual colours of the painting I think.

The watercolour is  1100 x 1000 mm on Arches Cold Pressed – off a roll.

Based on Leslie’s last comment I am going to present these posts from recent to older as you read down.  In other words, I will add the new versions to the top of the page rather than the bottom.  Thanks for the idea Leslie.  I will see how it goes.   I have a new sheet stretched and waiting to go.

The process

What follows is a brief journal of the creation of this watercolour.  I have kept in the comments I made as I posted each step.

Tonight I was really keen to do the first wash on this painting.   And here we are:

Boulder-2-1N

This new board is really quite unwieldy and I have to lean right over to do the washes.  I have tried to do more saturated washes and introduce more chop into the sea near the horizon – looks OK I think – we will see tomorrow – now I am feeling kaput.

Here is what I did last night:

Boulder-2-2N

I did grey and orange boulder on the right in a single wash in which I felt like I was getting the hang of the whole thing.  My concern right now is how to keep the whole painting together.  And I started the figure but she needs bolder colours.

Boulder-2-3d

I am battling to get going today so I have enlisted the services of Olga Kern who is playing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1 with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.

Well here we go now, time for a break:

Boulder-2-4N

I think it is working.  The rocks on the left need a little work maybe.    I must be careful not to put too much more colour in my figure otherwise she will outweigh the rocks.  Here she is now:

Boulder-2-5N

I wanted the purples to react with the yellowy green water.  Poor thing – maybe she needs a cozi.

I also added some detail to the skyline – I may darken the sky a little to soften the impact of the horizon:

Boulder-2-6N

Anycase I am going to put this aside for a while to consider the varnishing – thats what they called it in the old days ‘varnishing’ –  finishing your painting.

A final comment on stretching

Last night I stretched another large sheet.  But this time I wet the paper with a brush, possibly a little too much as the water was seeping from under the paper.  The board had  slight tilt.  However I waited for over an hour for the paper to slake before I taped and stapled the sheet.  I stapled about 100mm apart.  This morning the sheet was tight and unwrinkled and is leaning on the board just to my side pleading silently for  me to start another painting.

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15 thoughts on “boulders beach watercolour project – take #2

  1. Did you just update this post, Stephen? I didn’t see all of this last night. I really love the rocks. The colors in the water are mesmerising. The girl is a humorous touch and gives us the idea of the size of the rocks. Good job.

  2. Hi Stephen! This is gorgeous! I really like the color and the rocks are PERFECT! I think all your followers haven’t scrolled down to see that this is all new. What were the colors you used to create the water? To me it looks like a yellow and a blue that you brought together in the shallows? I admire your work!

    • Mmmm – there is a thought – maybe I should put the final product on top and work down the process.

      The colours:
      The sea was done in a single wash from the top to the bottom with my squirrel hair mop.
      I started with French Ultramarine, to which I added Winsor Blue (red shade) in the next section down. Then I used Winsor Blue (green shade) to which I added Cobalt Blue. Then I moved to Winsor Green (blue shade) for the middle ground. As I reached the boulders in the water I added Cobalt Turquoise and Cerulean Blue to create the light colours, then more Cobalt blue in the little straight to the shallows. For the shallows I used Winsor Green (yellow shade) then putting more Green Gold and Quinacridone Gold. Finally I used Quinacridone Gold and Cadmium Yellow for the shallows. I used Cadmium Red for the damp area where the waves had washed back and a mixture of Rose Madder Genuine, Cerulean Blue and Cadmium Yellow for the beach.
      Phew!
      I mixed the colours in porcelain snack bowls which are perfect for the task.
      The idea I had was to have a large wash using French Ultramarine with some Cerulean Blue to get the effect that happens when the colours separate but for that I would have to maintain a massive wet area. Maybe another time.

      • Thank-you so much for sharing your color combinations. I wasn’t sure if you used green or the blues and yellows combined to make them. They are beautiful in that greenish area leading to the shore. I would never have chosen cadmium red where the waves meet the shore and that, too, is so helpful and it reads so believable. Thank-you!

      • Hey – great stuff – In fact I have found that Cadmium red also works as a good mixer for greys – Cd red and Winsor blue.
        I have tried different combinations for greens but have found the tube colours work best as long as I mix with a red yellow or blue to take the edge off the artificial colour. Speaking of which I am drinking a banana milkshake at Durban airport which has clearly not been made with real bananas – it looks like drain-cleaner or something – the curse of a sweet tooth.

        There are so many shades in beach sand – it is quite a challenge – Cheers hey – S

      • Hi Leslie – thanks – it really is fun painting people like this but the risk is quite high. Somehow the artist has to disappear into the background. They were moving around quite a bit as we do in groups and I made the mistake of drawing them all first. In the second one I just started painting although I was a bit rattled. The artist also needs a thick skin I suppose.

  3. Isn’t the internet wonderful? I found Concerto No. 1 on YouTube (not Olga’s version) – superb!

    Such a lovely sunny painting and those are enormous rock formations – Leslie is right, the figure is essential to gain some idea of their size.

  4. Hi June – thanks for all these – if you like I can update or delete any of these comments.
    Would you like me to keep the first one and delete the next two?

    Boulders beach is so beautiful – I have a feeling I am going to do another one.

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