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.
Found: Lighthouse in Progress
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.
Sunset Beach: Dawn
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?
Ah, the tankers at sunset. Spent a lovely hour or two sketching while the sun went down. We were there late enough for the tankers’ lights to come on, so I dabbed those in with a bit of Bleedproof White. Otherwise, that’s cobalt, PO62, and a dash of PO73.
Tankers were not the only thing in view this evening – in addition to the usual birds and porpoises, I made friends with a beetle.
Another Lighthouse Paper Test: Fabriano Cold Press
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.
While painting seashells…
Port of Los Angeles and Palos Verdes
We had a little cool weather this week, and it blew out all the September smog. The Port is back, and so is Palos Verdes!
Not trying to be cheesy with the porpoises, there was a large pod swimming back and forth all morning. One stand-up paddleboarder was surrounded for a while, he must have been pretty stoked.