November 5, 2010

Warm Surf, 7 x 10", watercolour, Oct 2010

I have been working on making pictures of waves.  I want to show the movement of the water in its changing shapes.  To do this, I have focussed on just the wave itself, ignoring any other elements that might add to making an interesting image.  This gives me some challenges, in that I have to manufacture or find darks to set off the lights of the foam.  This wave was actually quite sunlit, from the viewers right-hand side.  I need to set off the white crest without making the background so dark that I lose the feeling of sunlight shining all around. 

Frozen Wave, 7 x 10", watercolour, Oct 2010

This is another one where I have made the background significantly darker.  This gives it, to me at least, the look of a stormy dark even angry ocean.   Not the look I was going for in the first one!

There are much fewer warmer colours in the first painting than in the second painting.  The reds and oranges change the sense of temperature of the water.  At the beach where I captured the photos for these paintings there is a stream which empties onto the beach, carrying amber coloured peat-laden water.  This mixes into the ocean water and changes it from the pure clear ocean colours to warmer, tea like water.  Makes for a great picture though.  


  1. Hi Poppy,
    To me the darker background creates a very dramatic ocean, with the waves lashing the rocks. Can almost feel the dampness from the sea spray on my face. As you say though, it's not what you set out to do, but it's my favourite :)

  2. Susan
    This is why I like to hear from my readers what they think about the paintings. Nice to hear which is your favourite and why!! Thanks for your feedback.