Painting-in-Progress: Minch Seascape

It’s that time of year again when the sun’s moved north and is setting past the tip of the Waternish peninsula and late (about 9pm) making for hours of enticing patterns and colours on the expanse of the Minch (sea between Skye and Harris). My fingers have been itching to paint it again. Here are a few work-in-progress photos, canvas size 120x60cm.

Minch Seascape painting
Yes, I am indeed mixing the sea colours directly on the canvas. I used the “sea area” as a palette and brush-wiping space while painting the rocky foreground and islands. Not only does it mean there’s no palette to clean, but also no paint wasted and a colour coherence between the sea and the rest of the painting. The “trick” is to use a biggish brush and to not overblend it into a uniform colour. It’ll get more layers of paint on top anyway.
Minch Seascape painting horizon
Painting the sea horizon with a flat brush and Prussian blue. The “trick” to this is that it has to be a really good brush, not one with errant hairs. And practice. And doing it when the islands are dry so it can be wiped off if it does go astray.
Minch Seascape painting horizon tape
The “trick” to getting the sharp edge on the outer islands is masking tape. Pulling it off for the ‘great reveal’ is always a fun moment!


9 Replies to “Painting-in-Progress: Minch Seascape”

  1. Love the reveal of the edge of the islands. I suspect something like that happened during the making of Nine Trees?

    1. Yes, indeed, but even more so as the trees were done onto the “background”; when I stick on the tape I’m choosing which bits of background to preserve as much as where I want trees to be.

  2. Just when I thought I might get some house work done! The first beautiful, sunny day for ages and your interesting and inspiring e-mail has sent me back to the studio. I was interested to notice that from the first image, my eye clung to the dark, vertical stroke. Will it be a rock edge or could it be a joyful dolphin? Thank you Marion.

    1. I hadn’t noticed the suggestive shape at all until you pointed it out — and then suddenly I saw it, as a shark. Sorry to say it got blended out. It’s made me think of putting “creature shapes” into the texture paste of the sea…so thank you!

      1. thank you, i really enjoy your total newsletter. and although you possess the artistic license here, i beg to differ on that shark sighting. their tailfins are perpendicular as dolphins are parallel, so if you see a fin and that split second there is not a smaller one behind it, you are o.k.,(call it the surfer shuffle). most of the time they just blend out too. have seen dolphins at dawn, once. no sharks…….yet

  3. Love the colours and how they mix, interact and compliment each other.
    Nature has such a lot we should learn from.
    Order within chaos!!!!!!!!!!! Love it.

    1. Thank you! One of the joys of being a painter is to sit staring at the colours in the view and call it “work”. 😉

    1. So am I because it’ll mean I’m further along with the painting. Seriously, sometimes making a start I’m really pleased with, as here, can inhibit me tackling the next round, so the painting sits to one side for a bit.

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