Thursday, 20 February 2014

September morning, Beer Beach

Oil on Board, 6 x 8 inches  SOLD

I painted this little study en plein air from the lookout balcony above the shingle beach of Beer in Devon. When I started, there was a bright sun trying to peak through the low cloud, giving a gorgeous sparkle on the sea and a halo of light on the boats and figures. However, after half-an-hour, the sun was gone and the scene was totally different, the sparkle gone and the colours flat with no contrast of tone.  This is the most difficult period for the plein air painter - do you carry on, re-painting a different scene that first inspired you to paint, or pack up and try to recreate the original lighting back in the studio? I carried on for a while, but the lack of sparkle lacked what I wanted, so I finally gave in and put the panel away to finish off just now.

Fortunately, I took a photo' of the view early on, so I had the basic information and managed to finish the painting off in the studio with little alteration, just adding the figure in the foreground to balance the composition. The old rubber conveyor belt, with the sunlight bouncing off it, provided a perfect 'lead-in' to the focal point - the red fishing vessel, with the fisherman looking out to sea.

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