Tag Archives: Back Bay

another try at sea and sky / oils

One of these days I’ll say, “Yes! I nailed it!” This is not the day but I don’t hate this attempt. Each try is getting me one step closer to my wave masterpiece which will happen some time before I die.

In the background you can see condos at Sandbridge about 2 miles up the beach and some waves far away. You can’t go past those pilings. That’s a restricted area for wildlife.

The pilings and shadows make arrows pointing down to the water. This close up shows where I’m trying to give the illusion of a thin layer of water on top of wet sand. It soaks in fast and some runs back out. That’s the sweet spot where you can see reflections of sky or maybe shore birds if they’re there.

This is a little rough because I wanted to do dry brush and try to make the painting fuzzy. I didn’t use any Terpenoid or medium.

You can see my brush strokes but I didn’t achieve the ultimate fuzzy effect that I’d like to get. I’m talking fuzzy like William Turner.

There are so many scenes that I have in mind to paint, I can’t just do waves, I’ll do other subjects and go back to waves at different times. No rush.

waves looking South with unexpected figure drawing practice / charcoal and chalk

The weather hasn’t been great around here lately. It cooled off a little the past few days but stayed real humid and we had rain. Today was great out there! We have a nice breeze from the Northeast so I faced South. I was getting started on my sketch and two ladies sat right in front of me. They were wearing backpacks that I didn’t want to draw. So, I only got the one figure in the sketch. She was moving around and looking at me but didn’t know what I was doing.

The wind blew my paper half off the drawing board but I had a roll of tape in my bag. When I hurriedly taped it the paper didn’t go down evenly. That’s why there’s a shade in the sky, where the paper is slightly warped.

A man stopped to talk and asked if he could take my picture so I said yes. Then I asked if he could email the pic to me and he said he can’t off this. He was holding an expensive camera. Then he said he didn’t have anything to write my email address on and I said I have something to write on. He obviously didn’t want to do it. He said carry on with what you’re doing and left. Made me kind of mad. It reminds me of some other people I know who don’t mind asking me for what they want and I say ok but when something is important to me, no can do. If I insist they ghost me. The jerks.

Most people that take my pic out there will at least try to send it to me even if I can’t use it for some reason.

I stopped at the Happy Oyster on my way home and got some fried oysters to treat myself. They were delish, as always.

We have more rain coming in this week. I hope I can get out to draw another morning real soon.

Atlantic Ocean looking NNE / charcoal and chalk

This is my favorite spot so far to draw waves. They redid the path from the parking lot to the beach and put a nice thick mat all the way over the dunes to the beach.

It was calm and the waves were small again. Flies were biting me even though I used bug spray. It was getting too hot and humid by the time I left. I worked on this for around an hour. It was still nice to get out on the beach and sketch.

They had a sale at Jerry’s Artarama and I got 3 of these big pieces of Canson Mi Tientes paper for $6!

Atlantic Ocean at Back Bay looking North / charcoal and chalk

It was nice out there early this morning. If they had a tornado I didn’t see the damage so maybe it wasn’t too bad. I like the beach erosion that makes a little drop off for a fisherman to sit on. I. was sitting back from him at a respectable distance. It looks like I was closer in my sketch.

Waves aren’t easy to sketch from life because they’re moving. You have to really observe and draw from memory but still compare what you drew to the next wave.

Have you ever seen paintings where the wave looks like it was frozen? Those paintings were done from photos. When I paint waves, however long that might take me to do, my waves will look like they’re moving. I don’t care how many sketches I have to do. I don’t care how many paintings I throw away before I get it down. Stay tuned because I think I can do this right.

It’s out of focus because I tilted the paper on edge.

This is how you can draw a straight line in plein air without a ruler. Tilt the paper so you can look down the edge, close one eye and look at your line. It’s the same as if you were buying a board and you look down the edge to see if it’s warped. Take your time and sketch the line from one side to the other. So my horizon line is ok, not perfect but not bad.

beach sketch looking south / charcoal and chalk

The best time to go is early in the morning at this time of year. It wasn’t too hot and a slight breeze and sunny with no one in that direction.

A lot of guys were fishing behind me and when I drove out a lot of cars were going into Sandbridge, so I avoided today’s big traffic jam. I might shoot for it again tomorrow morning if I get up early enough.

I saw 2 big groups of pelicans skimming up the waves along the shore and when I was leaving some people were standing in the road taking pictures and urging on a huge turtle that was making it’s way across the road.

After I get a few more sketches I’ll try to paint waves again. This time with oils because I’m used to working in oils and might have better success.

Sand Dunes / oils

That was a great place to paint and the weather wasn’t too bad in the shade with a nice breeze today. Bugs were buzzing around but I didn’t get bit thanks to DEET. I might not go back to this spot. It was tiring to lug my supplies out there even with my beach cart. By the time I left it was getting hot and a long walk back to the car in the sun. Not many people were there today.

I used my modified fan brush to paint the tall grasses. I had my brushes taped to yardsticks so I could sit back from my painting to paint and a few of those grass lines went on too thick so I scraped through them with a palette knife to break them up.

In this close up you can see some of my dark shadows. It looks like a good habitat for a snake, doesn’t it?

This shows a grass focal point with a direction going up to the sand slide and thin ridge which also has some direction in the shape of a light colored bent line next to a dark shadow.

This one is the top of a fragile dune and the dark line in the shade is the edge of a sand slide.

I went over the shadow in the sand again. When I got there and compared what I had before to nature, I though the shadow was too brown so I mixed a neutral gray and scribbled it on top of the brown glaze cooling it down slightly.

The original dark color is showing through where the sand breaks and a few tiny spots under the brown and gray sand shadow colors.

It was great to have a secluded spot where no one noticed I had my brushes taped to yardsticks because for people to see a woman out painting alone is enough but if they saw the yardsticks they might think I was really nuts and I don’t feel like explaining that Matisse did that and I want to paint like Matisse.

I think it gave my painting a more loose impressionistic look and I’ll use the yardsticks again.

sand dune painting update

It was windy but nice to be out after a lot of days that were too hot and humid and rainy to paint in plein air. Finally! I could go back down there to work on this again. The wind was around 20 to 25 mph I think. It almost blew me down when I stood up. Last time it was windy too. It felt good but the blowing sand got in everything.

the wind was blowing my brush around because I had it taped to a yardstick and was sitting back a yard away from my painting, like Matisse did. It’s a lot of fun but you have to give up some control. Can you see the craziness in this close up? Sand in my paint? Scribbling because of wind and sand? I doubt anyone could call this painting “tight” hahahah

I enjoy it a lot but maybe other artists wouldn’t.

That big dark slash there, that’s a blip of the brush because of wind and sand. I’m not sure how I’m going to fix that but I fixed the bad place in the sky so I’ll do something to break up that dark blob. Note the sand getting bad by the time I got this far with it.

I’m trying to decide if I should brush the sand off when this dries or leave it there. Some of it won’t come off.

Just as I was packing my things to leave the wind blew my canvas paper off the drawing board and it flipped back with the paint in the sand. I thought that was too much but it didn’t wreck it any worse than it was already. I had to quick slap more tape on it before it started flapping in the wind. This is the kind of plein air experience that might deter a lot of artists. I’m not fighting nature. Let her mess up my painting. I should care but I don’t.

Too much sand on my palette. I had to quit working on it or else clean my palette out there because I couldn’t mix up another color on top of that mess. The blue colors on top are what was left over from the sky and they’re covered with little pieces of plastic wrap to keep them workable, so maybe that much paint is still ok.

I’m not sure about finishing this. I might go back in a few days after this dries a little or I might finish it at home.

between dunes / charcoal and chalk

I found a really good spot to do a painting. I want to go large with it. The earlier I get there the better for the shadows.

It was great out there this morning, not too hot, sunny and windy. No bugs bit me. I saw a lot of cool wildlife, 4 pelicans flying over the dunes, a big turtle sunning himself with his legs splayed out behind him, ospreys, great blue herons, smaller types of herons, red winged blackbirds, and yesterday, lizards.

I can’t take my easel out on the sand because if sand gets into the telescoping legs they might get stuck, but I thought of a way to prop up my painting that might work even with a little wind.

sand dune sketch and beach report

Wow! Isn’t that amazing?! My problem with putting a title on my post correctly seems to have fixed itself! Thanks, whoever!

It was nice at the beach early this morning, sunny, not too hot and a nice breeze. As I walked down the path between the dunes bugs were after me so I sprayed with DEET and didn’t get bit.

The waves were small and breaking hard right on the sand. It looked like the tide was out. There was a lot of sand in the waves, maybe a rip tide, but you can’t swim there anyway. A couple guys were fishing.

I went as far up the dune to this pretty view at the sign that says “Area beyond this sign closed”, stood on a bare patch of sand to sketch and about 15 min. later a whole bunch of little ants were on my feet! I was wearing sandals. They didn’t bite either. I’d have stayed longer but, ants.

pointillism experiment finished

The artist that invented pointillism, Seurat, had his color theory down to a science. I wish I knew how he did it but I see so many variations of pointillism I guess most artists put their own spin on it.

close up

Last week when I got to Back Bay the clouds were so pretty I couldn’t resist trying to paint them. It was windy and the clouds were moving fast. I got some general shapes dotted in for the cloud shadows and when I wanted to puff them up with more volume they were all different so I decided to wing it when I got home.

I can’t tell if this experiment is working or not. If it’s not, and you can tell me how to improve next time, please don’t be afraid to advise me. I’m not sensitive about a critique and I don’t feel emotionally attached to my paintings, so my feelings don’t get hurt easily if it’s a flop.

cloud close up

The thing about painting at home is there are too many distractions here. When I go out to paint in plein air I’m leaving everything behind and concentrating on the drawing and painting. It might seem like people out in public would be a worse distraction but the people don’t bug me. I like when someone is interested in what I’m doing. Most of the time I’m alone out there except for walkers passing through.