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Painting with oils

Location: Cadaques, Costa Brava, Catalunya

Every afternoon two fishermen arrive on a rickety moped at this cove and in the shade of a tamarisk tree, they settle down to bait their lines for their evening fishing trip. This little cove is on the southern outskirts of the town of Cadaques, a much visited seaside town on the rugged coast of the Costa Brava.
Over the course of the day there are many comings and goings here; visitors, holidaymakers, fishermen, tradesmen, and staying longest and observing all that goes on - painters. The watercolour painting above captures part of such a day at Platja Arenilla, the name of the cove.
Often a watercolour can be a useful rehearsal for an oil painting; the waterclour painting above was selected for the Royal Society of Marine Artists autumn show at the Mall Galleries, London in 2008. As it was also sold its popularity suggested that another version in oils might prove just as attractive.
You can see straight away that the resulting oil painting is not a copy. There's always room for improvement and experimentation, and one is always learning anyway; so to reinforce the marine connection between baiting lines and fishing I thought the addition of a traditional boat would help. It could belong to the fishermen after all. Also, when I last visited the place after I had painted the watercolour, I noticed that a much less rickety motorbike had replaced the moped, so I thought I'd put that in. Perhaps fishing is 'on the up'; every picture tells a story.
But what I thought you'd like to see is not just the latest painting of this place but how it was painted stage by stage. There are several ways of developing an oil painting and the stages that follow will only be described in outline. For a more detailed explanation you can't beat being alongside a painter as they work as so many thoughts, considerations and decisions arise as brush applies paint to canvas. Printed words are sometimes not enough. Why not join me sometime?
  Forward to stages 1 & 2 >>>
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