It seems a long time since I completed a beach painting, but Artists Palette Magazine suggested I paint one as a demonstration painting for a feature in their magazine and I was happy to oblige. As the weather in Perth is practically always sunny I planned to get a few source photos for the painting on the first weekend of the holidays and then paint when I could until all the information and the painting for the article were due.
As a punishment for my blithe assumptions, the weather gods then turned on the most relentless rain that I can remember. A painting of wet dogs on a grey beach in the rain had very little appeal so I waited for the first window of patchy sun, then raced down the dog beach dragging my reluctant daughter and an enthusiastic dog with me.
My usual method is that I get an idea for a painting, sketch it before I can forget it and then collect supporting material for the idea ( photos, sketches etc). I then work up a composition and loosely sketch it up on the canvas. I paint the background first, then sketch the middle and foreground objects in and start work on them. Then there is the long process of adjusting elements until I am happy with them or the deadline strikes. If you look at the slideshow of images you can see that I add a dog moving forward to the main figures late in the painting, and adjust the shadows, a leg, the thongs and the size of the ball. The last two things were adjusted after the deadline which goes to show that you should always allow for contingencies like the weather, not leave things to the last minute and that paintings are never quite finished.
The article should come out in the next few months with details on each step. I’ll let you know when it is published.
Many thanks to my lovely daughter for letting me bully her from bed for a photo shoot that ended in a drenching and thanks to the dog for his exuberant posing. He is the foreground two dogs and the one with the stick. He actually looks like the dog on the left, but he became hairy for the right hand dog and had his legs pruned for the dog with the stick. Adaptable creature.
A step by step slideshow of the painting can be viewed on my artist facebook page (click link)