Saturday, 21 April 2012

On The Mud

On The Mud
Watercolour on Paper
34cm x 52cm (13.5" x 20.5")

Wells-Next-The-Sea is an attractive harbour and tourist resort on the North Norfolk coast.

The harbour is about a mile from the sea. The channel that connects them shrinks to a trickle at low tide. Boats that are moored along the channel sink on to the sand as the tide goes out and float again as the tide comes in.

The stimulus for the picture was another idea from John’s Lovett's Studio Workshop post.  The objective was to incorporate empty space into the picture and to confine details to one part of the image.

On The Mud - Thumbnail Sketches

The composition is taken almost directly from of one of my reference photos. I made most of the design decisions by drawing different framing options on the photograph. I drew a couple of thumbnail sketches to experiment with some variations, but did not discover any improvements. The main benefits of drawing the thumbnails were to improve my understanding of the composition and to practice drawing it before starting work on the watercolour paper.

One of the things that attracted me to this scene was the opportunity to paint a large graded wash (see Wash Swatches).  I knew there was a fair chance that I would not get a perfect graduation of colour in such a large wash, but I anticipated that any imperfections would add atmosphere rather than spoil the painting.


  1. love this picture mark, i recognised where it was we had a lovely time at wells and ought to go back

    1. Hi Julie,

      Thank you for commenting. I am glad you like the picture. It would be nice to go back to Wells.

      All the best,