8.8.2011: Rinsey Head – I knew I wanted to try and paint a view where I was looking down and along cliffs. I was interested in trying to capture the powerful mix of the cliffs and sea as they joined together on the beach. My very supportive family were willing to make an early start so on a beautiful sunny morning we headed across and parked close to Rinsey Head. A short walk down a path and slight clamber through some bracken found me on a grassy ledge with the most beautiful view I could imagine. I knew I only had about an hour to work. I had decided to work on mount board already primed with gesso.
Firstly with a large brush I quickly painted in a watery background using acrylic paints. I was really enthralled by the patterns that the waves were making a little way offshore. Beautiful curvy lines of white and blue. I chose a pale blue pastel and capyured these marks quickly. Next with slightly heavier bodied acrylic paint I started adding in the details of the cliffs working with ultramarine, brown sienna and winsor blue. I paid careful attention to the cliff shapes simplifying the rocks and cliffs in the far distance. To suggest the green of the grass on the clifftops I added a loose wash of colour.
The painting was by no means finished but I was really happy with what I had started. It was time to pack up and move on with the day. I took some photographs and made some mental notes about the shadows, lines and colours. I would really recommend if you have time that you do a sketch and annotate it at this point.
Once back at home and in my studio I added more detail firstly with acrylic paints and then with pastels. I was really pleased with what I had achieved. I know it may not look like a very hot sunny day in Cornwall but I believe I captured the drama and the excitement of the sky, the sea and the cliffs joining together in an exciting and stunning landscape.
This painting is currently hanging in a gallery and it gives me great pride that when people walk it they say ‘now that's Cornwall’ before they've even read the label.