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Beachhead

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Beachhead, Watercolor Painting of the Oregon Coast by Jenny Armitage

Beachhead (12 x 19 watercolor) $400

A little bit of the Oregon coast.


Or purchase a fine art print.

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My Kind of Beach Boys

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My Kind of Beach Boys ( 10 x 19 watercolor) $175.00

Believe it or not,  this is February in Oregon.  Where is the rain?  I don’t know, it took a vacation for our vacation.  I took a number of photos of these boys who were obviously enjoying the unseasonable weather.  They seemed immune to the 62 degree water, and quite happy to get wet.

I painted this watercolor very traditionally starting which the sky which I painted wet into wet with ceruleum blue.  I dropped in a mixture of cobalt blue and burnt sienna  to give the clouds some depth.

Then I masked the foam and the boys.  The ocean is a combination of phthalo blue, cobalt blue and burnt sienna. I used the phthalo blue mostly for the green cresting waving.  After removing the maske, I spent much time scrubbing the hard edges left by the maske and lifting highlights from the waves.

I added the boys using burnt sienna, raw sienna, and quinacridarone rose form there skin.  Their trunks are quinacridone rose, colbalt blue, and phthalo blue.

Available for purchase at my Etsy Shop. Or purchase a print from my print shop at Fine Art America. Prints of my oceanscapes and those of others are also available here: ocean paintings

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Beach Walk

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Walking Her Dog on the Beach

Beach Walk (watercolor 5 x 7) SOLD

This another painting of the beach at Brookings.

I just had to do one of the dogs.  Dogs and beaches  go together.  So much to see.  So much to smell.  So many, many other dogs.

This older dog wasn’t tugging too hard, but he was strongly encouraging his person to walk faster.  I want to see.  I want to run.  I want to go.  I want to do.

I used my typical beach palette: burnt sienna, raw sienna, phthalo blue, cobalt blue.  I masked the waves before painting to preserve the whites.  Painted last Wednesday at Art in the Valley, Corvallas, Oregon.

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Beach Birdie

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Beach Birdie (watercolor 5 x 7) SOLD

We call my youngest daughter “Bird” and “Birdie” and even “Birdles” because she looked a little like a bird when she was a baby.  It’s been a long time since I thought she looked much like a bird.   But crouching down on the shoreline, she made me think of long leggity shore birds.

The palette is simple, cobalt blue, phtalo blue, qinacridone deep red rose, and burnt sienna. I used liquid mask extensively to make preserve the white paper.

See more little girl paintings at Fine Art America: girl paintings.

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Sunset at Brookings

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Sunset at Brookings I (watercolor 5 x 7) $25.00

Last weekend I was in Brookings, Oregon for the Watercolor Society of Oregon’s Spring convention.   We visit the coast often, but we rarely get so farther south than Florance.   Brookings is on the California boarder and getting there from Salem efficiently requires dipping into northern California, hardly a hardship as the redwoods are on the boarder too.

The southern coast is a different. Brookings is a rocky rather than a sandy beach.  The land drops off rapidly into the ocean there.  The result is that the waves do not feel like them are above you as they do in Lincoln City, but they break larger closer in.  I haven’t figured out how to paint the immediacy of Brookings breakers, but I’ll get it.

In the meantime, here are three  postcard sized Brookings sunsets.  I did the first on location and the other two at the gallery yesterday.

Sunset at Brookings II (watercolor 5 x 7) $25.00

The people in the third one are my husband and youngest daughter.  It was one of the few times anyone stood still on the beach that evening.  Stephen and the girls were much too busy skipping stones to stand still.

Sunset at Brookings III (watercolor 5 x 7) $25.00

These paintings are currently for sale on-line at my Etsy shop.

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Postcard Paintings I Did at the Fair

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Mommy and the Waves (5 x 7) SOLD

Mommy and the Waves (5 x 7) SOLD

Before demonstrating watercolor at the fair, I asked various other painters for advice. The message I heard loud and clear was never try to start or put the finishing touches on a painting while talking to the public. That’s good advice and I took it. But I found spending five days painting the middles of paintings unsatisfying and vaguely unsettling. So I also painted some little postcard sized paintings from start to finish too. Yesterday’s postcard sized painting was one of those. Here’s another one.

I think I took the reference photos on Lincoln City Beach, but it could be anywhere. What matters about this image is sun and sparkle contrasting with cool water. Also, I just love the way both mommy and daughter appear just a hair afraid of the waves, but they are right at the edge anyway.

I used phthalo blue, burnt sienna, yellow ochre and added little quinacridone deep red rose for the figures. The “sparkle” is reserved white created by splattering the page with liquid mask. I didn’t have a toothbrush to splatter with so I used a stiff filbert brush.

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In the Waves

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In the Waves (5 x 7) $20.00

In the Waves (5 x 7) $20.00

Do you remember the two brothers who were trying to send a log back out to sea?  The tide was coming in and so the sea kept sending it back.  I used another one of the photos I took of them that day to make this little postcard sized painting of the older brother.

The palette is phthalo blue, yellow ocher, and burnt sienna.

This painting is currently for sale on-line through my Etsy shop.

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Low Tide at Agate Beach

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Low Tide at Agate Beach (12 x 16) $200

Low Tide at Agate Beach (12 x 16) $200

I love the ghostly look of the beach at low tide on a foggy morning. The beach stretches out forever half hidden in haze and strangely reflective, making the beach and the sky much the same color. The ocean swallows up all sound. All is quiet mystery.

But I have a hard time painting it. It is essentially nothing with variations. Here, to emphases the space and provide life are my daughters striding companionably into to that great emptiness filling it with sound and movement.

To paint the picture I masked the white waves, the foam and girls, but not their reflections. I painting the sky with burnt sienna and cobalt blue in multiple wet into wet layers. I painted the beach first in yellow ocher and than followed that with burnt sienna. I painted various mixtures of burnt sienna and cobalt blue wet on wet over the sand. The waves are a darker mixture of burnt sienna and cobalt blue painted wet on dry.

After the wet paper dried, I lifted the mask and painted the girls. The were actually dressed in brightly colored coats, but I painted them in more burnt sienna and cobalt to keep the monotone foggy feel of the beach. Then I dampened the area under the girls and painted in their reflections wet on damp.

I placed my signature carefully since in all that emptiness I knew it would be a design element.

This painting is currently for sale on-line through my Etsy Shop.

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Nose to Nose

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Nose to Nose (5 x 7) SOLD

Nose to Nose (5 x 7) SOLD

I think dogs are at their most happily doggie on the beach. Freedom to run, other dogs, disgusting smells, people to meet, and soft sand—what more could a dog want?

The palette was prussian blue, cobalt blue, burnt sienna, and yellow ocher. I used mask to preserve the whites.

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Winter Morning Solitude II

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Winter Morning Solitude II (10 x 16) SOLD-Prints Available

Winter Morning Solitude II (10 x 16) SOLD-Prints Available

This is an early morning in February on Agate Beach, Oregon. The light isn’t sunrise but it’s reflection in the Western sky.

The painting is all broad washes and wet into wet. I began by masking the white water. Then I painted in the reflection of the sunrise with yellow ochre into which I dropped rose madder quinacridone. While that dried I washed the sand and rocks with raw sienna, followed by burnt sienna, followed by raw umber, followed by cobalt blue. I finished the sky wet into wet with mixes of Prussian blue, cobalt blue and burnt sienna. The ocean is cobalt blue and burnt sienna. The rocks are burnt sienna followed by burnt umber followed by cobalt blue.

Purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.

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High Tide at Seal Rock Beach or Experimenting with Canvas

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High Tide and Seal Rock (12 x 16) $200

High Tide at Seal Rock (12 x 16) $200

I took the working photos for this one on a cold wet winter day on Seal Rock Beach just south of Newport, Oregon. At low tide it’s a fantastic place for poking in tide pools. At high tide it’s a wave watcher’s heaven.

This is the fourth watercolor I’ve done on canvas. Watercolor is a whole different animal on canvas. It even sounds different, like painting on a drum.

Canvas is just a hair smoother than cold-pressed paper, but the texture is very different. Cotton has a grain whereas paper does not. Greater detail is possible on cotton than on cold-pressed paper. But that’s just the beginning.

Canvas absorbs more water, so it takes much longer to dry; and drying is crucial because unless a wash is bone dry it will lift from canvas in a heart beat. In fact it’s extremely easy to lift watercolor from canvas. All but the most staining pigments will wipe back to white with one swipe of the sponge. It’s great for correcting mistakes but lifting just a little color for highlight is next to impossible. Mask will also lift paint back to white making it easy to add white details.

On the other hand, canvas accepts much thicker darker paint without getting muddy and dead looking. I’m coming to the conclusion that this last is the primary advantage of canvas for me. And that is why I painted this particular painting on canvas. I wanted to make the dark rocks just as dark and cold as they really were without worrying about dead chalky looking paint.

Since it is framed without glass the last step in a watercolor on canvas is to spray it with a clear protective finish. I use a matte finish. I don’t want shine.

This is essentially a two color painting: French ultramarine and burnt Sienna. There is a hair of raw sienna here and there but not much.

Gallery wrapped (painting continues around the edges of the stretcher bars) on cotton canvas so no frame is necessary. Shipped flat.


Or purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.

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