Simon Bland

A Blog About Oil Painting

A Windy Day

by Simon Bland / Jan 22, 2016 / Painting Plein air Seascape

Plein air painting at Ballard beach

A Windy Day (plein air). 9x12, oil on linen panel. 2016

Today, while our old home on the east coast is forecast to get 24"+ of snow, I managed to get out and paint on a beautiful, partly cloudy day at one of my favorite spots on Golden Beach in Ballard.

I'm still trying to get the hang of the sea and its ever changing moods. The constant movement and value changes made it hard to render as one static thing on the canvas. I found a middle value then added some sky color to it. On top of that I laid down some darks and lights to provide texture.

The clouds were moving a lot too, but I'm more used to that. I took a snapshot in my mind of the starting shapes then I pull in little elements of each cloud as they passed. I managed to paint them in a more impressionistic manner than usual and let the lightest lights merge into one large mass.

I've been following Roos Schuring's short online videos recently. Especially interesting is her use of a large palette knife to smear paint across the entire canvas in one long swipe. It produces much more effective results than a small knife does - I've now added one to my kit.

Finally, here's a peek of the painting on location. I often forget to take one of these and they rarely line up properly for me. Stay warm!

Plein air painting at Ballard Beach - my setup