Saturday, September 25, 2010

Asilomar, Sept 23rd

The CA coast is gorgeous at this time of year. Today's visit to the Point Pinos area of Monterey was a fun day of painting and enjoying the spectacular scenery. It can be intimidating to paint huge panoramas, so I started with some little brush pen sketches to get a feel for the place.

We set up on the beach and looked out over the sea. On turning round I was grabbed by a view of some ice plants cascading down over the rocks. Above was a beautiful blue sky with the occasional seagull hovering in the sea breeze. I thought it would make an interesting painting, but of course the seagulls don't hang around so it will have to be a studio painting. I did some sketches of the idea and took photos of the birds.

We lunched overlooking the golf course, then moved up to the Point Pinos Lighthouse. This quaint little building looked very paintable, but as I started my composition sketch I quickly realized I was way too close to the building. The dark green rectangle was supposed to contain the whole lighthouse! Feeling overwhelmed by the task, I moved on to a cute little shed behind the lighthouse which nestled amongst some interesting trees. I was conscious of making the shed (my focal point) slightly off to one side, but the shed had other ideas when I started drawing and plonked itself right in the center of the paper. Darn! Despite this I was really pleased with the way it came out (see top of page).

Later we moved further along the coast to where a sea lion had spent the day sunbathing on a big rock out at sea. It seemed like a picture perfect opportunity, but he was quite far away. I did two sketches, the second using binoculars. My last painting was an attempt at the crazy rocks which line the coast here. Rocks are quite a challenge!

The Presidio, September 19th

Last week we had an impromptu trip up to San Francisco. The idea was to sketch the views at the Presidio and visit the CA Watercolor Assoc. exhibition at the Officers Club. The Presidio was a bit fog bound when we got there, so the views were not extensive! However, we were undeterred and found plenty to paint. The exhibition was very instructive. We had fun critiquing all the paintings and picking out our favorites.