August is a good time for painting seascapes – air conditioning for the mind – I can feel the cool water from the first stroke of my brush. With On Vacation, I also wanted to depict the transition between morning fog burning off and the arrival of stronger light pouring through a slightly overcast sky. It’s a gentle quality of light, with no harsh shadows. The warm sienna colors of the sand balance the cool blues, and reinforce the feeling of a glorious summer day. Details below. Enjoy!
Technical painting notes: I rolled a thin layer of burnt sienna oil paint at the bottom of the freshly primed panel, then used a mixture of mineral spirits and linseed oil to “disturb” it, creating streaks. A spritz of mineral spirits, blotted, created the droplet effect. Once dry, I painted the water over the sand and added highlights to reinforce the sand pattern (a mixture of white, raw sienna, and gold ochre).
Compositionally, I added a stiff breeze so that the salt water spray would connect visually with the fog burning off, and repeat the undulating shape of the cloud bank.