Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pacific Wave

Pacific Wave
5" x 7"
Rembrandt pastels on Uart 600 sanded pastel paper
Photo reference by kathymackay2 on

Painting the ocean has been on my Artist's Bucket List for all my life. I loved the sea from as long as I can remember. As a toddler I had a book about a hermit crab that fascinated me, had both beach and undersea illustrations that were absolutely wonderful - good illustrations, not just cartoons.

So I took a piece of Uart and decided to use my field pastels, 60 Rembrandt half sticks. I worked from the Weekend Drawing Event challenge where kathymackay2 posted a bunch of photo references last Friday on the last day of the current challenge... and I changed the weather. The photo reference was taken on a gray overcast day, the sea was very blue-gray and the wave was not quite as shapely, but from previous paintings and studies I understood its anatomy. I changed the weather to reflect what might have been a warmer climate or just a warmer season, moved the foam, gave it color and sparkle and light... and it just blew all my previous seascapes right out of the water.

I wasn't even thinking verbally while I painted it. I spent about 20 minutes and did not hesitate. I think I'm finally ready to try painting the sea from plein air. I understand the waves well enough they don't have to hold still, just repeat. This rocks. Today is a personal triumph.


  1. I agree with you Robert! This is super. The colors and movement of the water is captured so well. I think you are ready for a plein air, too! More than.....