Impending Storm at St Osyth’s

One of the wonderful attributes of being by the sea is experiencing the weather’s ever changing presence.

I was enjoying a quiet break by the sea and we took a walk along the beach, the weather was getting a bit lively, the sea was rough and you could feel an impending change. We looked up and saw this cloudburst in the distance, it was amazing to behold. About fifteen minutes after I took a photograph we got soaked by the very same cloudburst.

This makes for a very pleasing sea and cloud scape. I worked on a canvas using acrylics and some watercolours too. I made an initial light pencil drawing and worked on the sky first. This is a purely practical way to work, from top to bottom of a canvas.

For the clouds I used Payne’s gray, white, indigo blue, cerulean blue, lemon yellow and pale yellow.

I used a large flat brush, circular brush stroke, using my reference photograph as a guide. I used my pale yellow and some of the white (separately) as glazes for some of the clouds when the clouds were 100% dry. This will give the impression they are farther away. The sky took about an afternoon to complete and of course the great advantage of using acrylics is that you can go over them and adjust them when they are dry.

I then started on the body of water. I mixed cerulean blue with yellow and then added a dark green to make my own turquoise sea blue. I painted in all the sea. I then painted the landmass in the background, using a mixture of burnt umber and burnt sienna and some indigo blue.

I used the same mix but in varying degrees for the breaker of rocks in the midground. When the sea colour was dry I painted in the waves and spray using pure white and used a flat edged brush to curve the shapes of the waves.

For the sand in the foreground – I under painted with a flesh tint and used varying mixes of yellow ochre, burnt sienna and burnt umber to make my mixes. I then took a large brush, loaded it with each one of my mixes and made large bold semi circular brush strokes to suggest the shape of the beach. I then took a stipple brush and added some pointillist yellow and dark umber stipples for the stones on the beach.

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