The photographer Quintin Lake very kindly allowed me to use his photograph of Dawlish Breakwater in one of my watercolour classes. My painting is an adaptation from his photograph.

I drew in the main lines of the composition, and was very aware of the dynamic line of the esplanade. I drew in quite a few people as this painting really needs populating.

I did not draw in all the detail of the buildings and all the other elements, I wanted to exercise my painting skills to make each individual focal point a true point of interest.

I mixed a wide range of chromatic blacks. I used a base mix of ultramarine and burnt umber both 50% each. To portions of that mix I added one other colour e.g. red to create a dark warm colours. I ensured I undermixed all the colours so different colours could be seen in each wash or layer. I painted the sky first and then the church spire. I underpainted the green areas with medium yellow before I added the greens I had mixed. I left parts of the paper its original colour, to suggest light shining from above.

I painted the sea using a muddy mix of a combination of my colours – effectively – I made some grey colours. I used gouache zinc white for the spray, which I applied with a fan brush.

I added further figures to the distant esplanade on the left hand side using the side of a size 2 brush.

I used my grey colours to paint the esplanade, wall and parts of the distant buildings.

I painted in the figures using blues, reds and chromatic blacks.

For the train, I underpainted in grey, glazed over with ultramarine blue and used medium yellow for the yellow on the front of the train.