In his depictions of rugged coastlines, the Scottish Painter Peter Graham (1836-1921) made use of strong contrasts between fine detail and expressive brushstrokes, and between white spray and dark rocks. He usually added seabirds which served to integrate these contrasting elements in the composition. he worked on a large scale, to convey the awesome grandeur of his settings.
Recently I was looking at the website of the artist/illustrator Kinuko Y Craft, who likes to work on a small scale with very fine detail (often using 00 size brushes). She mentioned that she uses Claybord pre-prepared panels as her support. Made by Ampersand, they have a very smooth surface, making them suitable for miniatures and fine work. The clay provides an absorbent surface that takes paint well.
If your aim is to produce a hyper-real image, you don't want a textured support that draws attention to to the surface and destroys the illusion of depth. But for plein air work, surface textures such as the brush marks of un-sanded priming, can add interest, energy, and a kind of honesty.
To get this level of smoothness with home-prepared supports would take a lot of sanding of multiple coats of primer or gesso, waiting for each coat to dry. Some might find the surface too smooth for their style of painting. I have yet to try them myself. Would welcome comments from those who have.
The panels, which are supposedly more archival than masonite, are also made with a box-like cradle suitable for hanging unframed (you might have to clean up the edges for presentability if you are a messy painter). The sides are also paintable. They are not cheap, but if you don't want to spend time preparing panels, they might be a good option, and you can save on framing costs if you use the deep cradled panels and hang them unframed for a clean, modern look.
The thin un-boxed panels would be the most convenient for plein air trips. Plein air painters often use slotted boxes to separate wet panels during transportation.
The slightly pink sky, probably of early morning, sets off the emerald hues in the waves - a color scheme the American marine painter, Trost Richards, used many times. The sky color is brought into the troughs of the waves where they reflect it.
To paint the sea, you must love it, and to love it, you must know the sea. - Frederick Judd Waugh
About this Blog
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This blog is intended as a reference resource for seascape painters (particularly those working in oils) and for art lovers. It's a mix of nautical/maritime art, seascapes and coastal scenes, both old and new. The blog is of a non-profit, educational nature; however, if you are the owner of an image and would like it removed, please advise in a comment to the post. Add comments by clicking on the word 'comments' under a post.
Copyright of images of paintings on this blog are usually held by the artist or owner and are not generally in the public domain.
A large proportion of the artists are from the US simply because their work seems to be easier to find on the internet, and perhaps the genre is more popular there, but suggestions of famous painters from other countries (and for the blog in general) are welcome.
Apologies if a link to an artist's or gallery's website has been inadvertantly omitted. If you are interested in seeing more, or purchasing, work by any of the artists on this site, google their full name in inverted commas, with perhaps the word 'paintings' or 'artist' and it should take you to their site or the site of a gallery representing them.
If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry