I took a photograph on a mid week break to Felixstowe in August: the weather was beautiful and it made the colour of these stones come alive, the amazing colours in them is fascinating.
I started with a detailed drawing of the buildings and then the beach huts and the boulders.
I painted the buildings first. I wanted to ensure that I captured the strong sunshine that was shining in from the left and casting all the wonderful really dark shadows on the buildings and boulders. Therefore, I had to work from light to dark, retaining some small portions of the paper in their true colour. For the buildings I used a wide range of brown colours, which I mixed using: yellow, orange, light red, Indian red, burnt sienna and raw umber. I worked light from dark, working in glazes. I used an indigo blue light wash for the cast shadow on the large white building on the left, leaving a very small portion of the side of the building the colour of the paper.
I painted in the windows and shadows of the windows using indigo blue. I used this in varying tones, from very light (90% water) to dark tone (90% paint).
I painted in the background foliage initially applying a wash of yellow and then using light to dark greens, the basis of which was sap green and then I added darker colours to that to make darker greens.
I used turquoise blue for the beach hut front visible out from between two boulders and used cobalt blue for the other beach hut in view. The buildings and beach huts took three hours to paint.
I then painted in the sky using a mix of turquoise blue and ultramarine blue, using wet on wet techniques. However, when that was 100% dry and painted in the area of transparent cloud with zinc white acrylic as it was bright white which I could not achieve using watercolour white.
The boulders: I experimented mixing some colours of grey first, and of course there are all types of greys so that took a little while: pink grey, green grey, purple grey: not hard to make – add a small portion of Payne’s grey to your colour. Starting from the back of the boulders, I painted in the base colours on each rock and as I worked added brushstrokes of black and then white to get the contrast needed to represent bright sunshine. I then painted in the cast shadows using indigo blue and also some mars black.
For the sand I used firstly flesh tint and then mixed a range of dark yellows with a base of yellow ochre, and then added brown (small amounts) and magenta to the mix. The entire painting took around six hours to complete.