Ever since returning from my field trip to the charming North Yorkshire coastal town of Whitby I’ve been wanting to capture it in oils. I began a painting a few weeks ago of what was going to be a straight forward scene viewed from across the harbour.
I began by blocking in the colours which was straight forward enough and working wet in wet I added the lights and darks. It was then that I decided that I wanted to play around and try to capture that sense of stillness of an early morning misty morning. By layering on multiple fine glazes of zinc white I began to lose the definition of the scene, which gave a misty effect but it also made the painting flat and one-dimensional.
After mulling this over for a day or two I decided that what was needed was some interest in the foreground. Now if you’ve been to Whitby (or pretty much any coastal town in the UK) you’ll know that seagulls are a prominent fixture. Personally, I love them, though I know that many don’t. Their call is the soundtrack to my childhood holidays,. I remember waking in my Grandparents caravan with each morning’s arrival being announced by their cries.
The addition of seagulls to the painting seemed like the obvious solution to my dilemma of bringing back some of the definition which I had lost when adding the mist. What started out as a regular seascape has evolved into quite a different painting from what I intended, one that I hope evokes a quiet contemplative mood and that is easy on the eye and soul.