Blackhall rocks again

Guess where I’ve been on a Sunday? It was two weeks ago but I’ve been revising for an exam so painting sadly had to take a back seat.

We perched on the cliff tops as we were both tired and couldn’t face the thought of hauling all our stuff up the cliff path. We pitched our easels right by the path, so we got chatting to plenty of passerby’s. Two ladies who had lived in the area since they where kids, said they used to go play on the beach. Due to all the coal mining, just like in Get Carter, because it was filmed around there, they would go home and have to have a bath they were so filthy. An ex coal miner walked passed and said he was glad to be out the mines, but also glad of his pension. Another man was bird watching, and we were serenaded by skylarks, flying up to the sky to impress their potential ladies.

We even had some critiques. They’d been watching the BBC art program and were able to articulate that they liked Sues’ painting better than mine as it had more colour. They suspected that I didn’t like colours. Colour mixing practice didn’t appeal to them!

While we were there they skylarks were singing and flying up to the sky. Best music for painting to yet.

The day started warm, barely breezy and sunny. Just as well, in my rush to try and leave the house before nightfall I’d forgotten my coat and cap, so Sue saved my bacon and lent me two old jumpers. All the haze and cloud we were looking at did start to come our way, and the breeze picked up. When I’m painting I tend to get really cold so I tried doing some squats. Passerby’s warned us that the wind could pick up suddenly. I was very ready to get in the car and go home for a toilet break! We got there at 12 and left at 5. A record for me. I need to go every 2 hours. There’re just far to many people around to have a wilderness break. We’re starting to explore more and hope to find a cafe or something.

I had a very productive day and did three paintings. Above is the block in of the first one, and the one I fiddled on with the most.

And here is the painting when I stopped. I’m not sure if it needs something, a pop of colour on the beach and rocks, or something in the distance as a focal point. I shall come back and look at it later.

As the tide was going out and exposing more rocks I thought I’d use up my colours and do a quick study of the rocks and waves. I like the movement and the composition, and I believe I got the colours pretty close, but it is lacking in the foamy details. It did pass the mum test though. When I got home and showed her, she was able to identify what it was.

I then tried to paint the breakers coming in, the rocks and the hazy horizon. It was a strange light on the water as the boats in the distance looked like they were sailing in the sky. It was really hard to tell where it all ended and began. I don’t think this was as successful as the rocks felt like they were dropping off the bottom, and the hazy sky/sea left too much similarly coloured space.

I have no idea why those two photos insist on being portrait. I am working on figuring out how to turn them.

While I was waiting for my paintings to dry, I used up what was on my palette. Trying bolder colours – taking criticism! And taking a sample of my palette. From this I definitely want to add more detail to the beach, but not that bright. I had plenty of time to ponder this as I then waited for my sketch book to dry…

Man colour palette, and the mixes left after.

cliffside tea break. People watching from such a height is very satisfying.

The spring flowers were out in force. A spot of daffodils and a mystery flower that I still haven’t looked up.

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