Beach Painting Demo

January 27, 2021
By Richard Robinson
Beach Painting Demo logo

ONE of the great things about painting outdoors (and teaching outdoors) is that the changing light and weather gives you different creative opportunities.

What a difference to the shadows it makes when the sun is behind clouds...


...and when the sun comes out!


Suddenly all the colours change and we have new shadow shapes to play with.

With spotty cloud cover and a decent wind the scene changes from one to another pretty often, leaving you scratching your head as to which version of the scene to put on your canvas.

Today there was more sun than not so I opted to paint the sunny version with sharp dark shadows and high contrast between lights and darks.

Here's the block-in of the first darks, with thin enough paint (thinning with walnut oil) to just cover the canvas and not let the weave show through. Focusing on big soft edged shapes, looking for slight variations in the big areas.


Now I've blocked in the water and that's really the end of the darks stage. The tricky part is just simplifying what you're seeing. To help avoid detail I close one eye and defocus my other so that I'm just seeing big blurry patches of colour, and that's what I try to paint.

The finished painting with a few small details added. The lights are painted thickly with no walnut oil added.

Note how the foreground shadow helps push the eye into the painting, the skyholes and branches are simplified and the tops of the trees on the right are blued down to push them further back in space, adding another level of depth and a spot of interesting colour.

Play spot the creative differences!

A morning well spent on the beach with my feet in the sand.

(Thanks Tim for the good company and your hard work!)

You can purchase this demo painting here:

(first in first served!)

...and view my other demo paintings on sale here:

Happy Painting!