I’ve just returned from another week in one of my favourite parts of Northumberland – the area between Embleton and Beadnell. The weather was largely kind, allowing me to spend time studying the coastline at different times of day and in different conditions.
Here are a few of my studies…
Sand makes an excellent brush holder for working en plein air!
Day 1: Familiarisation
A bright morning at Football Hole. Deep shadows and contrast.
Dunstanburgh Castle through the dunes.
Dunstanburgh Castle colour study.
Day 2: An early start
Up with the lark to paint the sunrise over Low Newton bay. Herons fished, and waders called.
Reflective sea and hard rocks with orange lichen.
Ducks at Low Newton Pool and a silhouette of Dunstanburgh Castle in my little pocket sketch book.
Study of rocks and lichen.
Chalky distance on a hazy day.
Day 3: A long walk
A long walk to Dunstanburgh Castle, so took my lightweight kit – watercolours and graphite. Sand added interesting textures. It was a showery day and dark clouds loomed overhead.
I love the life that watercolours have – you can control them to a point, but the magic happens when they are aloud to make their own marks.
Beach huts on the dunes near Low Newton.
Day 4: A warm and windy day
The distinctive sweep of Beadnell Bay on a bright but windy day. Sorrel, grasses and coltsfoot.
Working on the beach on a very windy evening created an unintentionally textural painting!
Study of sea colours and reflection.
Day 6: Colour
After a wet day yesterday (day 5), the sun came out again and the colours shone.
Colour study. Morning.
Colour study. Morning. A shift in tide and light conditions. Some directional lines added for reference back in the studio.
Beach hut in the dunes.
Moon shadows. A walk on the beach under a full moon. Bright reflections, curlews calling, long shadows on damp sand.
Day 7: Warmth
Coltsfoot, red clover, plantain and thistle.
A bright, warm afternoon. Sheer cliff and orange lichen. Gannets and male eider ducks dived for fish offshore. Shags stretched their wings.
A new ‘Northumberland #2’ sketch book will be available to buy from my online shop soon.