I’ve read that it’s advisable to place the horizon low when painting the sea to avoid making the waves look like a wall at the top of the painting. It’s a rule I violate frequently.
When I walk along the beach I am drawn to the leading edge of the ocean. Looking out from the edge of the waves the sea does feel like a wall above me. And the breakers rise many feet above sea level. In winter they they tower over the beach.
Standing in front of all that raw power I am awed that something so elemental is also so beautiful. My eyes follow the waves. I rarely scan the horizon.
I want to catch that feeling of being small and looking up into the waves, so when I place people right on the edge of the beach I often place the horizon high, or as in this case eliminate it altogether.
Pigment Notes: The water is phthalo blue, cobalt blue, French ultramarine, all dulled by burnt sienna and raw sienna. The beach is multiple washes, some salted, of burn sienna, raw sienna, and burnt umber mixed with a a hair of cobalt blue. Winsor red and cadmium yellow for the boy’s skin. Quinacridone gold, raw sienna and burnt umber for his hair. Winsor red and raw sienna for the shirt. French ultramarine and cobalt blue for his pants.