Piering Twice

A few weeks ago we had a family trip to Felixstowe. The weather was great, and we were fortunate enough to still be there as the ‘golden hour’ got under way. The setting sun cast a wonderful glow over the struts of the pier, while the sky was a peachy and lavender symphony. I snapped a couple of photos before the moment passed, and have tried to capture the feeling in this little watercolour sketch.Felixstowe pier sunset watercolour

I’d have been happier if the water shades had been less muddy: the reality was much deeper and prettier, with pale blue highlights. The pillars also suffered. I do like the sky though, and the light on the buildings on the pier.

Because the watercolour sketch didn’t live up to my expectations, I tried again today, this time in acrylics which I thought might offer me the depth of colours in the pier pillars.

This time I struggled once again with the sea shades – they should have been rather moodier, where as this looks a bit Caribbean! I think I just need to be more observant of the colours and get to know the paints better. Felixstowe pier AcrylicHowever, I did capture something of the orangey sunlight on the pier struts and building edges, which I’m pleased about.

It’s really strange seeing these two pictures next to each other. I’m sure that some of what I learned in the processΒ  of trying the watercolour has rubbed off on the acrylic. Oh, I guess that’s why the pros do sketches before they start a ‘real’ painting!


36 thoughts on “Piering Twice

  1. I like both of your paintings, Rebecca! In your watercolor, I like how you captured the movement of the ocean. It looks misty and moody which is often how the ocean is to me. And your acrylic is lovely as well. It looked a photo at first to me! The piers are really well done! Nice work!!! 😊

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  2. I agree with the word “dreamy” for the watercolor one. I like it. Acrylics definitely don’t inspire that softer look, and I like seeing the contrast. The acrylic painting has a very stark and lonely feel to it. Great atmosphere in both. (K.)

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    • Thank you very much, Kerfe; it’s been fun playing with the hard/soft contrast you’ve put your finger on. I’m not disciplined enough to make a habit of repeating pictures in different media, but I think did get something out of it this time. πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks for your thoughts Graham. For me this picture was all about the orange and, if I’m honest, that’s the bit I was focused on. I totally agree with you about the sea. I just couldn’t find the right way to treat it with the acrylics this time. I wanted it to have motion, but I didn’t end up achieving this; I think I should have been braver with much darker colours. If you’ve any suggestions on how to improve, I’d be glad to hear them.


      • Have you any photos of the scene? If not get some images of sea and look at them. I think it is the patchiness of the sea which is disconcerting. Further back you might get light and cloud shadows but they would be in more extensive bands. Closer in there will be ripples and waves . The waves would have some mass and form and would be organised, rather than haphazard. Try a few breaking waves to augment the ones against the shore.
        By the way, I think the beach has a lovely feel, you’ve created form with some nice brushstrokes.

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      • Yes, Graham, I do have a photo for reference…the sea texture was more gently ripply than distinctly wavey, which I think was part of my difficulties. I’ll definitely have another look at both the photo and painting with your suggestions in mind, which I’m sure will help. I strongly suspect the answer to my watery problems is more practice! Glad you liked the beach though, and thanks again for your thoughts.


  3. I think they´re both beautiful, each in it´s own way. The light in the acryllic one is really wonderful, and the atmosphere in the watercolor one is a little wilder, like the North Sea, it´s a wild ocean. You did a wonderful job painting water, I wasn´t that brave yet. I think water is one of the biggest challenge in painting, and you mastered it beautifully!!! 🌊😊

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    • Well, thank you for your kind words; I really look forward to the results when you do go for painting water, because I think you handle your watercolours very well and I’m sure it won’t be quite as scary as it seems! πŸ™‚

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      • Thank you, Rebecca! Still thinking about how it would/could work… Maybe I should look for some Youtube tutorials about it… IΒ΄m thinking about using masking fluid too, for the whites… Well, itΒ΄s really a challenge!!! πŸ˜‰


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