Wednesday

Waves on stones


Sunny days with cloudless skies are not always an advantage when painting watercolours. Especially here in Greece when the sun burns like a furness, mercilessly from dawn to dusk. The colours dry too fast, the heat is sometimes unbearable and it's not always practical to find a place in the shade or rig up a large parasol. In the first light of the early morning though or just after sunset the remaining light has a fascinating, almost magnetic attraction. On the beach at this time there is also the advantage of fewer people around to disturb.
My method of working is often a combination of sketching/painting plein air and photographing the subject to work on later when the light changes. For detailed work I  usually take a few items like stones, weed etc. back with me to my "floating studio".
In these latest works I wanted to experiment in depicting breaking waves and the movement of water juxtaposed against the hard, static, shiny wet stones.
After masking the upper edges of where the stones should be I literally poured diluted blue colours onto wet paper and tilted the drawing board in different directions to render the flow of the waves. By working wet into wet I avoided any hard edges and kept the impression of the sea in soft focus. When this was dry I could continue with the details of the wet stones, carefully keeping small patches of dry clean paper as highlights. 
To get the effect of splashing water in soft focus over the background stones I painted diagonal stripes with clean water and absorbed surplus colour with paper napkins.


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