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Tag Archives: Big Sur Kate


I follow a site titled Big Sur Kate. Late last summer she posted the above photograph.  I commented on all the beautiful color and that it was so surreal and different.  I have followed her photography because I saw, early on, that she incorporated a knack for great and interesting composition in her work. She was kind enough to offer this image for me to work from. Little did I realise how difficult it would be for me to reproduce in watercolor. The following are my attempts to paint this beautiful seascape.

          Cartiera Magnani 140lb coldpress

This is my first attempt. I didn’t like all the hard edges and did not feel I had enough definition in the clouds. I liked the brightness it captured but the darks were not deep enough and I couldn’t get the sea darker without disturbing the first layer of pigment.

Arches 140lb coldpress

This was my second attempt. I liked this much better but felt it lacked shape in the clouds.I liked the darks and the variation of color that was achieved, here.

Cartiera Magnani 140lb coldpress

This one approached the bright light I wanted in the upper portion of the sky and I liked the shapes in the sea but was still dissatified with the shapes I was achieving in the clouds.

Winsor Newton 140lb coldpress

I really liked the shapes that I achieved in this one but not the range of values. I wanted deeper darks and WHOOPS! Happy accident at the bottom; swampgrass? lol

  Arches 140lb coldpress

I was getting closer to the color I wanted.I liked the somewhat v shape of the underside of the clouds I got in this one and how it defined the streaks of reflected light on the water. It was here that I decided to change my approach and paint shapes in sections to define the clouds I wanted to achieve. I also decided I wanted to go with the essence of this v shape to create the next one.

Fabriano 140lb coldpress

This was my final attempt and I am pleased with it. The Fabriano coldpress allowed me to play in the pigment a little more. It would allow me to lift hard edges and re-design an area.  It also offered a surface that I could lay down abstract shapes with ease. I also pulled out the titanium white and enhanced portions of the clouds to gray out some areas and brighten the whites of the clouds on the top.

This entire venture made me appreciate the art of photography much more than I ever have. There are just some things that are captured with a camera that we would not have if  we had to paint it FAST! before it disappeared.  Thank-you, Kate, for sharing your art with me so I could learn valuable lessons here.

Oh. Some time ago, Isabelle challenged me to do a beach scene. Would this seascape qualify Isabelle? I didn’t forget. 🙂