Dawlish Seafront, Watercolour Painting

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.


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