Bathers at Seaton Hole Beach.
Painting Reference: JM-021-2018
43 cm x 60 cm
Oil on Board.
2018, Seaton, England.
This is a painting of an area I often visit with my brother and sister as we were born near-by and spent our early years coming to this beach. We have visited here many times throughout our lives. Nothing really ever happens here, which is partly why I like it so much.
As with all of my landscape paintings, this is based on a plein air work carried out over a 2 or 3 hour session.
The smaller study is crucial in capturing my response to the scene and making a record of the colours that I chose to put down and the subtle variations that a camera is unable to capture. The scene is always a kind of soundboard to be used to explore colour and the arrangement of light and darks, rather than something to make a copy of.
The plein air study then informs my decisions about the final work. Colour arrangement are explored further and the composition that determains the dimensions of my board.
Once cut, the board is prepared with a traditional glue chalk gesso ground. This has to be heated and then brushed on in a layered lattice effect over about 6 layers. This, when sanded, provides a smooth ivory like finish.
I then begin the under-painting after transferring the drawing to the board and sealing it behind a rabbit skin glue imprematura of yellow ocher and charcoal grey. This, together with the under-painting, helps to give a natural warmth to the under-painting which permeates through the final layers.