Back to Main Site

 Druridge Bay

For those you that are unfamiliar with Northumberland, it is the most beautiful, coastal and rural region, to my mind, in the whole of England. But then again I would say that I live there. And this painting is my local beach, about a mile and a half from my house, called Druridge Bay.

Essential Supplies

The items you will need to complete this scene are as follows:-

Watercolour Paint

Cobalt Blue
Hooker's Green
Yellow Ochre
Alizarin Crimson
Burnt Sienna
Charles Evans Sand
Charles Evans British
Light Red
Raw Umber
1.5" Wash brush
3/4" Wash brush
No.8 Round

Step 1 :

As you can see fro the first image, I have started off with a very simply outline and then put in my sky wash.


Step 2 :
For the sky wash I used a 1.5" Dalon brush, which is a totally synthetic brush but is very big so will carry a lot of water.

I have very simply pre wet the entire sky area and flooded this whole area with cobalt blue. Then wash our my brush, squeeze out surplice water and with a damp brush, suck out my clouds. Now putting the tiniest touch of alizarin crimson into my cobalt blue, drop in some warm cloud shadows. There we are a fairly big impressive sky.

Step 3 :

This view of Druridge Bay is a fairly unusual one as so far as I took my viewpoint from the edge of the dunes looking slightly inland as well as just concentrating on the sea, in doing so I got a view of the cheviots in the distance., Now I have changed my brush to the No 8 round Sapphire and as with the clouds a mixture of cobalt blue and alizarin crimson, fill in the distant hills.

Coming slightly further forward from that purple colour but still using the same brush, I have done some slightly further forward hills and fields using firstly yellow ochre, then yellow ochre and hookers green mixed, lots of water in both, then hookers green and burnt sienna mixed and then a few touches of burnt sienna here and there on its own, again plenty of water, but the burnt sienna will just warm up areas here and there.

By doing all this in the distance I have given the impression of some woodland and field lines but I havenít painted a single tree, just a few blobs and lumps here and there will give the impression of bushes and hedge lines, this is what I used the hookers green and burnt sienna for.

Step 4 :

Coming further forward on the left, for that gorsy kind of a field, which for the un-initiated is a field of gorse. For this I have used yellow ochre and burnt sienna mixed and the tiniest hint of yellow ochre and hookers green mixed just here and there, but it is just the tiniest hint, I donít want green to take over here. Youíll notice that on the far distant beech area over to the right, I have just filled this in again with my No 8 round brush with some Charles Evans Sand colour well watered down, keep this very week, itís a long way off.

Back to the little bit of beech that I referred to earlier, I have now added a tiny touch of light red well watered this just warms it up a little bit. For the dunes I started off with yellow ochre and using my ĺ" sapphire wash brush get my light bits in first. Then a mixture of hookers green and yellow ochre followed by hookers green and burnt sienna. Get your greens in first and then flick upwards slightly with the big brush to give the impression of grasses. Notice that clump in the middle distance is much darker, this is to capture my shadow later on.
Step 5 :

The whole of the beech area is just blocked in using my ĺ" wash brush and the Charles Evans Sand colour. All done good and wet. The sand of course is not just useful for painting beaches, but in fact beaches is the least I use it for. Itís a really good lightening for mixing with other colours to lighten then, much better than using white paint. Also mix it with a tiny touch of raw umber and you have got a fabulous stone colour.

Step 6 :

Once the beech area is dry, I then washed over here and there with a touch of light red and then a little bit of well watered Charles Evans British Sea colour. A few squiggly lines here and there using raw umber and my No 8 round brush just to give a bit more recession, you will notice these squiggly lines get narrower as they go further away.
Step 7 :

For the sea, there are 2 Charles Evans Sea Colours, British Sea and Mediterranean Sea. In this picture I have used them both mixed. Normally you should only use the Med Sea when using cobalt blue for the sky because the Med Sea is based on cobalt blue, likewise the British sea is based on Ultra Marine Blue, in other words, never use cobalt blue for your sky and British Sea for your water. As you are mixing your blues in the same picture, this wont look right.

Notice in the sea there is a darker colour in the distance, just add a little bit more Med sea as I go further away, also notice I have left a few white squiggly bits in the foreground areas to denote some waves.
Step 8 :

Now its time to give the whole thing a little bit more life with the addition of some shadow, for this I have used cobalt blue, alizarin crimson and burnt sienna. Using my ĺ" wash brush, just lightly block in some areas coming down from the dunes. But that bit in the middle distance is good and strong. This adds a whole new depth to the painting.

Step 9 :

For the grass areas in the foreground I have used exactly the same technique as in the rest of the sand dunes and the same colours. Just make everything stronger then flick the grasses up taller and heavier.
Step 10 :

The final image Iíve added a little bit of life. Those boats in the distance are actually 3 little stokes of very strong sand colour and a little bit of blue to one side to give a bit of shadow and make the light stand out more. For my people well really you could use any colour you want for their clothing just do the head as a blob of black and the legs are again a stroke of black, but they are just blobs. Donít start fiddling about with life drawing. A little bit of life with the stroke of my brush and there we go my impression of my own beautiful beech.