July’s Painting Project: Rain Shower at Thorntonloch Beach

I took the photo that is the starting point for this month’s project on the beach at Thorntonloch on the southern east coast of Scotland, near Dunbar. I think the contrast between the clear blue sky on the right and the incoming rain from the left holds all sorts of possibilities for a painting.

The original photo, with the rain blowing in from the north.

Whilst it’s the edge of the rain that is the most appealing to me, you could create a composition that doesn’t have any rain at all, or one that’s mainly sky or all about the greens in the foreground. It could be a moody Turner-influenced skyscape with layers of transparent glazes, or a wildly expressive drawing in the style of Joan Eardley (see “Approaching Storm” and “Stormy Sky“) or with strong opaque colours in the skye as in her paintings (“Boats on the Shore“).

I think it could be a wonderfully moody black-and-white painting — I’d be tempted to try it with black ink, working wet into wet — or one with minimal colour, say a touch of Prussian blue and a splash of green in the foreground.

The photo converted to black and white, and shadows increased to emphasise the drama in th sky
The photo edited to increase the light, showing more of the colours in the foreground. The reflected blue-greys of the sky in the puddles of water could be a way to lead the eye through a composition from the foreground to the sky.

For me the starting point would be deciding what appeals most to you in the photo, followed by deciding on format (square, horizontal/landscape or vertical/portrait) and then thumbnailing compositions to ensure that you’re not being distracted away from what you decided was the focus or key element. Happy painting!

As always, you’re invited to share a photo of your painting(s) for inclusion in the next project photo gallery. And if you’d like help with your painting and/or feedback, sign up as a project subscriber on my Patreon page here.

One Reply to “July’s Painting Project: Rain Shower at Thorntonloch Beach”

  1. The photos of Thorntonloch beach are really great. Love stormy skies!
    Thank you for taking the time to send the photos and also the links to Turner’s and Eardley’s art.

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