While we were in Spain this last summer, we spent a number of days in Cambrils soaking in the sun, visiting with friends, and playing on the beach. Good times! I started trying to paint a sunset we experienced there, and it was just... very very frustrating. I'd just taken the Bjorn Bernstrom workshop a week earlier, and I just, honestly, had no control. In an effort to be an honest artist, I thought I'd share some of the (really) terrible paintings I did at first, as well as where the image went, as I began to get a handle on Bjorn's methods.
This is the first batch of very rough sketches. All done on a quarter sheet (15" x 11"). I played with different formats and approaches, and learned to figure out the order and timeliness I was going to need to use, if I was going to get have any sort of control. One of Bjorn's pieces of advice, that "Patience is one of the most important things for a watercolor artist to control" was very true.
I left it like that for about a month, and only came back to it in the States. I decided to shrink the format to an 1/8th sheet (7.5" 11"). A good choice, as I burned through a lot of iterations, learning the techniques, and thinking about composition and color schemes.
`It was only when I got to this one though, where I removed the clouds and had the darker masts, that I felt like I was approaching what I was looking for. I also began to model the mountains, which provided a greater sense of light and directionality.
I'd like to do more iterations with the clouds again later, but I think I need a taller format, to better balance the composition. For this dimension, I want to focus on the horizon and the waves. So, I took that last one and blew it up to a full half sheet (11" x 30") and got the final image-