A few months ago, this hill was screaming neon green thanks to the record rains we got in the first part of the year. Today? Everything’s changed! The lush, rich grass is now cured in place and the only green is provided by leafy summer trees and bulrushes. We’re back to normal, really. Wet winters are an exception around here. Semi-arid climate is the rule!
After the clouds broke, I spotted a lizard sunning on a curb. He was still, but for his head swiveling around, for plenty long enough to sketch him. Of course a car parked and scared him off before I was quite done. The sketch was far enough along at that point to finish from memory. Cute little guy, I enjoyed studying him from a little distance.
My Platinum EF pen was at home on my desk, so both of these are drawn with the Kuretake #40 brush pen.
I’m evidently feeling a little atmospheric this week!
The first was an experiment with PB27 and PR179, which I just added back to my palette after booting Piemontite off. Turns out those two neutralize (surprisingly) so I painted a cloud doodle to test them out. The clouds looked so creepy and dramatic, I gave them a jet to menace. It’s in calm air right at the moment, so I hope the passengers aren’t freaking out too hard. I’d be glued to the windows!
The other is a purely imaginary city scene wishing we could all get around by blimp. Life would just be better with more airships, right? This is also to test out a suggestion that cobalt blue plus a touch of black is just the right color for Mediterranean skies. I’ve got a few too many clouds there to notice the effect, but it does seem about right. Will have to do a bluer, broader sky soon and see for myself!
Spent a fabulous (and chilly!) morning at the beach this weekend, with a very late storm moving in. The storm only bothered dropping a smidgen of rain, but more than made up for it with dramatic skies. There was a tanker at anchor looking close enough to touch, container ships waiting for POLA/POLB, and… something between the drilling platforms. What is that? Read more
Just a moody morning on the coast. I love the beach at dawn: it’s quiet and uncrowded, and the weather and waves have a subdued and beautiful vibe that can’t be found at any other time. Today, a fog bank held sway over the outer waters, providing a dramatic backdrop to the drilling platforms.
Bonus sketch: a random gull. This is tiny, a quarter would cover up most of the bird’s body.
Went rooting through a paper drawer this weekend, and look what I found! Don’t remember when I started it, must have been 2013 or so. I recall being disappointed with the sky at the time and sort of abandoned the effort. Last night, it started looking good! Some paintings just need to age apparently. Now I like it – time to finish it!
I wondered if this was the lighthouse at Orfordness in East Anglia, but the tops are different. This must therefore be a made-up lighthouse, probably as an excuse to paint the dramatic sky.
The beach at dawn, my favorite time to go. It’s deserted and the sky is almost always at its best! Today a band of mist masqueraded as virga, and the rising sun washed everything in pastels. Also spotted a Heerman’s Gull, unafraid as I stared at him. Did not know which gull this is until I looked it up at home, but the field marks were obvious enough to ID him later.
Painted across the spine in my sketchbook. Green Apatite, PR101, PB35, Jane’s Gray, PO71, Raw Umber. Ridiculous amount of pigments there!
Both painted at lunchtime, from memory.
Had a rare opportunity to really put some time into a plein aire painting today. I spent most of the day working on this, from a very careful base sketch to laying in all the paint. The house really is shaped like a paralellogram! It’s old, it’s built right on the beach and it has obviously settled over the decades. To be honest, I’d love to live in it. That third floor has a window looking over the sea – guess which room would be my studio?
I find lighthouses are irresistible subjects when I want to test some paper… there is no better excuse to paint a sky!
This is some 140lb Fabriano Cold Press that I’m considering for the next sketchbook. Have been using various brands of 140lb rough for the last three books and decided to change it up a bit. I like using something different in each, keeps me from getting stagnant.
Paper test! The first washes looked really good, so I decided to finish it up. PB28, PO62, and PBr7 Burnt Umber. It’s 12″ x 4″ on 140lb Fabriano Artistico Rough.
And yes, I love the paper!
That storm doodle sketch inspired me to try it again on a quarter sheet. Same two colors, same method, same laws of physics – totally different results! This is a cropped version, hiding a really prominent breaking wave at the bottom that was just bugging me as soon as I’d painted it.