Monday, 27 May 2013

Turn of the Tide, Rossbeigh Beach

 One of my favourite places in County Kerry is Rossbeigh Beach.   My first visit to this vast sweep of mountain-fringed sea and sky eight years ago inspired me to stop taking holiday snaps and start taking photos;  there were walkers and swimmers, people riding ponies in the surf; and above all those wonderful smooth, rounded pebbles - pink, green and grey.

a cloudless October day
© Teresa Newham 2013
Last Autumn I was there on a sunny day without a cloud in the sky.  It was chilly but there were a few people around, braving the wind to take in the stunning views;  and as I had a pen and pad with me I took the opportunity to scribble down a little sketch, which I coloured up afterwards in the warmth of my hotel room:


initial sketch for Turn of the Tide, Rossbeigh Beach
© Teresa Newham 2013

When I came to make a painting of it a couple of weeks ago, I tried out some colours beforehand as usual.  I settled on ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, raw sienna and turquoise, and tested them on tinted paper;  they were vibrant on their own but combined into some beautifully subtle washes.  I thought the swatch in the middle would probably be the effect I went for:

trying out beachy colours
© Teresa Newham 2013
I applied the paint straight onto the paper, laying down my initial washes and positioning the sea and the mountains; at this stage the beach was pure raw sienna and a little flat.  I found myself livening it up a little with the other colours.  Somewhere along the way I'd abandoned my original idea and the painting was emerging as something far more vibrant!

the colours take on a life of their own . . .
© Teresa Newham 2013
Getting thoroughly caught up in the colours, I sketched in some seaweed and the pebbles in the foreground in all the shades I could blend with my four basic paints , joining them up to the seaweed with smaller pebbles.

. . .  and the beach comes to life
© Teresa Newham 2013
Finally I added in some figures and shadows.  The finished painting is not at all what I intended (in terms of colour, at least).  This one really took on a life of its own, and is none the worse for all that!

Turn of the Tide, Rossbeigh Beach
© Teresa Newham 2013

1 comment:

  1. Lovely vibrant colours - really captures the spirit of the place!

    ReplyDelete