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

White Sand Blue Sky

I spent an afternoon at Aillebrack beach last week. This area is just south of Clifden and it boasts a string of beautiful beaches, many of which are unoccupied even at this time of year. It was one of those unexpected sunny days after a bout of wet weather and so I seized the moment with my daughters and headed for the sea. This was what awaited us..


Aillebrack beach





and looking out to sea..


The sea at Aillebrack beach





We were pleased to have the beach to ourselves, save for some seagulls who decided to join us when we produced our picnic. Here’s a picture of them swooping down to the shore.


Seagulls at Aillebrack beach





This one seems to be gauging the weight of this piece of bread!


Seagull at Aillebrack beach





We are so lucky to have these beaches on our doorstep, I believe that they must be among the most beautiful in the world. These last few pictures are of the clouds which made dramatic rippled patterns across the clear blue of the sky. I hope to be able to use some of what I’ve seen here in my paintings soon..


Aillebrack beach





Skies at Aillebrack beach





Skies at Aillebrack beach