Saturday, August 27, 2016
Central Coast Paintings from August
Near San Simeon 9 x 12 plein air watercolor
Montana de Oro 9 x 12 plein air watercolor
Hollister Peak August 14 x 14 plein air watercolor
Western Vista, Bayside Cafe 12 x 12
With the goal of learning more about painting at the coast I painted small so I could try different subjects. Where I live there is sunshine 300 days a year, so ways of working, seeing and thinking have to be adjusted.
I learned there has to be some break in the fog for me to see enough of the scene to paint it. If it's too dark I can't see the shapes and color patches I need.
I learned to paint the ocean first, since it is new to me and constantly changing. I stared at the changing shapes, memorized the ones I thought would work and painted from short term visual memory. In Near San Simeon, the contrast between the value of the ocean's surface and the dark rocks caught my attention. I paid careful attention to how light the ocean was, a silver, not a blue.
In Montana De Oro the composing challenge was how far I could push the cliff to the left so it was a supporting player to the Pacific. I almost treated the ocean like a sky in this one.
Inland, I had to stop and paint Hollister Peak, I wanted to paint it in the morning light but the top stayed covered by fog in the mornings so this is the afternoon shadow side.
Just south of Moro Bay is the estuary, with a great restaurant, the Bayside Cafe, I painted there, then treated myself to their California Clam Chowder, clam chowder plus green chile soup Highly recommend!
Four studies in three days and I still had time to walk the beach, wade in the waves, see the elephant seals, zebras, otters and the night herons.