Thursday, 21 August 2014

Midday Shadows, Mousehole

 Oil on Board, 10x14 inches

Here's another demo painting I did last week on the same day as the 'Windrush Willows', this time at the Sundon Park Art Society, again finishing it off in the studio today. 

This was much more an exercise in drawing than 'Windrush Willows', with so much more going on; the placement of the harbour walls - observing their respective horizontal levels, then the relative positioning and tilt of the boats. 

I liked the composition, with the ropes giving convenient radiating lines for the eye to wander out through the gap placed left of centre, after looking at the gorgeous light on the boats. The gulls on the left added a bit of life to balance the weight of the interest on the right of the painting. 

The shadow sides of white boats are always tricky to assess, and I made a point of mentioning this in the demo - never spend too long on any one part of a painting, because if you paint something in isolation, it can look right, but when you then place the colour next to it, it will be altered and you may have to repaint the area you've spent ages on and were pleased with - soul-destroying!  So, although we know the boats are white in this painting, the shadow sides are relatively dark - darker than the sunlit mud beneath them - and are difficult to get right without painting all the surrounding tones. It's a classic case of painting what you see, not what you know, ie, we know the boats are white, but they won't 'read' right unless we observe the true dark tones of the shadow sides.

I used my palette knife to depict a lot of the wet mud in the foreground, paying close attention again to the tones in the shadows cast by the boats. Altogether a complicated painting really - I like to torture myself!


  1. Hi Peter.
    A fantastic painting. I go as far as to say, it`s beautiful. All the best Peter.

    1. Thank you very much for taking the trouble to comment Vic, and what a nice comment! Cheers, Peter

  2. A cracker. Looks a certainty for the RSMA show

    1. Too late for that Andrew - got my three in already, but thanks for the compliment!


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