Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Study of the Ocean Alla Prima

A few days ago we returned from a splendid family trip to South Padre Island on the Gulf of Mexico.  Before going I had envisioned doing all these small paintings on the beach under my umbrella with my cigar easel box on my lap. I did get to paint several times in such a way but mostly ended up playing in the water and walking along the beach.  It was so lovely.

Below I have posted my attempts to paint the amazing ever changing ocean which I found both extremely difficult and exciting.  I had many, many day dream thoughts of living for long periods of time on the beach so I could paint everyday and figure out how to convey what I was seeing. 

Day One: 
Studies in watercolor with thoughts of how I would paint in oil.  So much to see--- horizon gradations, folding of the waves,  reflections from the sky on the water, reflections of the cresting waves on the surface, the wet sand....

watercolor on paper

watercolor on paper
Day Two:
My first try in oil of the waves and sand.   So many colors in the water, it was hard to keep it simple.

4 1/2" x 6 3/4" oil on linen panel

Day Three:
Trying again to understand the waves and the sand as the light continually changes and the waves come and go.

4" x 7 1/2" oil on linen panel

Day Four:
Study from the balcony.

watercolor on paper

Day Five:
More studies from the balcony.

watercolor on paper

Day Six:
After an afternoon of swimming, my last painting done from the balcony. I could of stayed there for a year....

6"x8" oil on linen panel


  1. What a nice vacation! I LOVE day 3 for so many reasons...the angle of the leading edge of the water, the different depths of water conveyed, the sky in the most shallow water! And the topsy turvy way the wave are breaking. The beauty of waves can get lost in the monotony of their breaking. Glad you and the guys got to spend a week with them!

  2. Great paintings Gabel! My favorite is the day 4 watercolor but I love them all.

  3. Thank you all so much---I just loved being there. Every place I turned to look I wanted to paint. Sigh...

  4. I love day one & day two. <3