Thursday, 20 August 2015

Axmouth Harbour

Oil on Board, 14 x 20 inches

This was yet another demo painting I did for Sundon Park Art Group in Bedfordshire last week, duly tidied up and finished back in the studio. It will be another one for my Devon Solo Exhibition in November.

What really tickled my fancy was the brilliant, pure sunlight bouncing off the water, with the stark silhouette of the building and harbour walls. To achieve the illusion of pure sunlight, with Titanium White being the lightest, brightest pigment in the artist's arsenal, I had to play close attention to the tones of the bright, sunlit clouds, none of which were as bright as the light on the water. If you squint at the painting (which is what you should do when you're out painting to see the tones), you can see that the sky is creamier and peachier in colour, and a touch darker than the reflected sunlight on the water. 

I always say in my demos that the water is the easiest part of the painting - not so in this case, with the surface very much wind-ruffled. Much layering and close-tones were added with a brush, with some dragging of pigment across with a palette knife. The sunlit highlights were also placed in mostly with the knife, using the drying, sticky underpaint to grab the Titanium White. The masts of the boats were placed in carefully using the edge of an old credit card. I also enjoyed placing in the red buoy in the foreground, with the sunlight piercing through it, making it appear translucent - lush!

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