Sea Painting – Progression

I’ve returned to the coast, having painted the bog for some months now. I took some pictures of the sea when photographing plants out in Candoolin recently. This is one of the images (below). It’s nothing impressive from a photographic point of view but I like this green island shape sitting on the line of the horizon and I decided to use this in a painting.


Photograph of the sea taken from Candoolin, Errislannan





This is how it began below. I’ve made the island the focus of the composition and I’ve just outlined where I’m going to add some rock shapes in the foreground.


Sea sketch by Deborah Watkins





This is the next stage. I’ve used ink and acrylic paint together to try and portray the water as it splashes against the rocks.


Seascape by Deborah Watkins - second stage





Here it is after some more work (below). I’m using charcoal to describe the rocks.


Seascape by Deborah Watkins - third stage





I allowed the paint to dry after the last stage. I then reworked the water and the rocks in the foreground and added some detail to the island (below). While the water is an improvement, I think that the rocks looked better at an earlier stage.



Seascape by Deborah Watkins





This is the painting as I have left it (below). I darkened the rocks with more charcoal and added some gold to the centre of the piece as I felt it was a bit too monochromatic. I then added some colour to the sky and tried to keep it watery to maintain a contrast with the use of heavy paint in the foreground. I also deepened the green on the island shape. I’m calling it finished at this point as I don’t think that I can take it any further. The painting process involves lots of decisions along the way – I’m always hoping that I am making the right ones although sometimes it’s better just to let my own painting instinct  take over.  Usually there is some kind of progression taking place (but not always!) – I hope so in this case but of course it is a subjective thing. What do you think?


Finished seascape by Deborah Watkins

A Forest of Green

This tiny but prolific plant grows right on the shore at Candoolin in Errislannan. This is a small rocky beach, just south of Clifden which is accessible from the roadside. It is obviously thriving here in this environment and has spread over the rocks like a miniature forest with just stone and seaweed for companions.


Photograph of rock plant at Errislannan beach




Here it is again, a little closer up. The perfection of each plant and each leaf is a marvel.


Photograph of seashore plant at Errislannan




And closer still..


Close up of seashore plant at Errislannan




The repetition of the shapes taken from above give the image a shimmering effect. One last photo (below). I love the vividness and vibrancy of this green. I need your help to identify this plant. Is it a liverwort? I’d love to hear from you if you know.


Close up of plant at Errislannan