far across the beach – a coastal painting

watercolour painting of Heacham North Beach
Far across the beach – Heacham. Watercolour on Waterford 300lb rough, 14ins x 14ins.

Another one of my current series of Coast paintings. This is very local to the studio, just a few miles up the road. Heacham north beach has that combination of wide open spaces and intriguing wooden posts and groynes that just help to make an interesting combination. Add to that the ever changing light and it’s a place I could revisit endlessly and find a new painting waiting for me, every single time.

This new work is in my favourite ‘winter light’ palette of Prussian Blue and Burnt Sienna. Winter light was the feeling that I wanted to generate, but I actually made this painting just a week or so ago, in high summer. That’s part of the job of an artist, to take the basics of a composition and make it their own. Change the light, change the shadows, change the colours, anything to put your own stamp on it. The sketch or the photograph is just the starting point!

As with my previously posted painting of the Seven Sisters cliffs, this watercolour is in a square format 14 inches on each side. The work will be in a frame around 23 inches square. I’ve noticed lately that square is the new ‘must have’ shape for landscape paintings. Maybe the old ‘traditional landscape’ format is just, err, too traditional? We shall see.

Painting the Seven Sisters

Watercolour painting of Seven Sisters cliffs
Windswept – the Seven Sisters cliffs. Watercolour on 300lb Saunders Waterford 14ins x 14ins.

I’m back in the studio at last, making paintings not just teaching others to make paintings. Well, it’s what artists are supposed to do. Not that I don’t enjoy teaching, on the contrary, I find helping other artists very stimulating and rewarding. Plus, it keeps me in practice!

There are exhibitions coming up. The West Norfolk Artists will be holding their Summer Exhibition in September, at the newly restored St Nicholas Chapel, King’s Lynn, and in October I will be showing work in the Garden House Gallery, Cromer along with other members of the Caperac art group.

So, new work is required and I find few things more stimulating of my creativity than exhibitions on the horizon. The painting you see here is one that I just completed today and is part of a series of coastal scenes that I’m working on at the moment. Hopefully you will recognise the iconic view, the Seven Sisters cliffs on the Sussex coast near Beachy Head.

Margaret and I were down that way several years ago and I took some photos and did a sketch or two, but this composition is based on a view I found in an old newspaper photograph. I’ve completely altered the tonal and colour schemes from those in the photo and I made a few changes to the composition too. There should be some cottages in the foreground but I decided to demolish them!

The colour palette used is very minimal, with just Prussian Blue and Burnt Sienna. There is a little Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Yellow in a couple of the mixes, but essentially this is a two colour tonal painting.

I hope you enjoy looking at this latest watercolour. I have more on the production line which I’ll show you soon.