Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Painting Brighton Pier 's Helter Skelter

Brighton Pier
Clear blue skies and bright sunshine took me off to Brighton last week. I live less than 20 miles away but I don't go there very often as it can get so busy! Now and again though I just can't resist a visit to the Pier.
To me it evokes childhood memories of candy floss, sticks of rock, ice cream and last but not least....the fun fair!  A whole world of colour, lights, music and excitement! New rides that make you scream, rides that scare you and nostalgic rides that make you smile.
The Carousel is wonderful, so beautifully painted and constructed and  little has changed over the years
The carousel on Brighton Pier
but what really caught my imagination was the Helter Skelter.
Brighton Pier's Helter Skelter
The pier just wouldn't be the same without it towering above the fair like a giant stick of seaside rock, brightly painted and covered in lights. The perfect Summer seaside subject .
It's not going to be easy to paint but it will be fun!
Work in progress ...     
                                                           "Helter Skelter"
                                 Acrylic on box canvas 18"x 24"x 1.5"
Painting the Helter Skelter day 1

 After sketching out the composition I have begun to block in the larger areas by applying 3-4 coats of paint. Once dry I can start to add the tones and details.
Progress on painting the shadows and text
 It's seemed liked slow progress today. I've started to add some shading and text. There is so much small detail that I cannot get it all in! It would be easier on a flat surface but then it would start to look photographic which I don't want. I like a painting to look like a painting :)
It should all start to come together more tomorrow.
Adding more detail
 Another long day painting today! There's so much detail but I'm now over half way so it won't seem so daunting from now on.
It's now 2 days later...I decided to knuckle down and until it was finished. It's not been an easy subject to paint on this scale, there's so much detail and not enough space! If I ever paint it again it will be on a 5ft high canvas!
So here we are...
                                                     "Helter Skelter"
                                              Acrylic on box canvas 18"x 24"x 1.5"
The wonderful Helter Skelter on Brighton Pier

   Back on the beach the Helter Skelter stands proudly in the distance on the end of the pier, the perfect view on a sunshine day :)
                                                       "Pier View"
                                           Acrylic on box canvas 12"x 16"x 1.5"
The deck chairs and Brighton pier


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

"Bluebells at Birling Gap" Painting the coastguard cottages at Birling Gap

Birling Gap on the Sussex coast 2014
Birling Gap is situated at the western edge of the Seven Sisters cliffs on the East Sussex coast.
The coastguard cottages are a well known land mark that are gradually being destroyed by erosion. The cliffs have dramatically changed over the years as the pictures below illustrate.
Erosion of the cliffs at Birling Gap
The severe storms of last Winter caused such extensive damage that the end cottage has had to be demolished as it was now unsafe.
Cottage before demolition February 2014
It's such a picturesque location that it seems rather sad to see it gradually falling apart.
On our recent visit I was surprised and delighted to see that on the cliff top grew large areas of bright bluebells. Swaying in the breeze as if  imitating the gentle waves of the sea.
. It seemed a fitting subject to paint, as one day it will be gone.....
Work in progress..
                                        "Bluebells at Birling Gap"
                                           Acrylic on box canvas 20"x 16"x 1.5" 
The picture has been sketched out, under painted and work has begun on the cliffs, sea and background 
Work in progress, painting the cottages at Birling gap
Most of today's progress was on the cottages, they're not finished yet but they are well on their way!
Painting in the cottages
Finally the foliage and bluebells fill the foreground like scented sea waves and now it's all finished .
                                  
                                          "Bluebells at Birling Gap"
Bluebells at Birling Gap

                                                                           ***
The bluebells this year have been wonderful my local woods have been a delight to walk through, Scented blue carpets and sunshine!
                                            

                                  

                                                                            

                            

Saturday, 10 May 2014

"Fresh Fish and Seagulls" Fourth painting of the boats on The Stade, Hastings, East Sussex

Fishing boats on The Stade at Hastings, East Sussex
I decided to visit  Hastings again. I've already painted 3 pictures of the boats but couldn't resist another as it's definitely one of my favourite places along the Sussex coast.
The fishing fleet of 25 boats is the largest beach fleet in the country and they are  wonderful subjects for  painting! Colour, detail, history, character....Hastings beach has it all!
It was a lovely sunny day so I caught the train from Lewes and set off with camera in hand.
I spent 2 hours just wandering around the Stade ,soaking up the atmosphere and taking loads of photos of the boats. I also found a friendly fisherman selling the morning's catch from his hut.
Selling fresh fish at Hastings
I had a delightful day and I returned home full of eagerness to get painting.
"Bethan Louise" is the boat I have chosen . I watched it's fishermen for ages,whilst busy working they were throwing scraps of fresh fish onto the beach. This resulted in a frenzied and very noisy attack from masses of seagulls, all desperately trying to get the best bits. The whole scene was so typical of the area that I thought it would make a good composition for my painting...
                              "Fresh Fish and Seagulls"
                                                 Acrylic on box canvas 18"x 24"x 1.5"
Painting of a fishing boat at the Stade, Hastings

"Fresh Fish and Seagulls" Close up and wall views
More paintings of Hastings...
 "Days on the Stade"
"Pots and Dans"
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