Schleswig-holstein, Germany, Northsea Waves, acrylic, 40 x 60 cm (16 x 24")
From early childhood I grew up on the coast at what was formerly “Rauschen” in East Prussia. Then, as a schoolboy, the waves of the Weser Estuary in all seasons and in all weather had a great attraction for me. In addition, the changing light at various times of the day fascinated me. This taught me there are two things that never cease to enchant me: the water and the clouds. Even today, these things fascinate me.
During a walk on the beach on the west side of the island of Sylt, I experienced the swiftly changing light and shadow. This, together with the waves, was what inspired me to paint this picture.
My Design Strategy
With a camera, I captured a rather uncommon wave constellation. The picture only consists of sky and water, and I have positioned the horizon, so the picture is approximately halved. The necessary shadow area is provided by the outgoing wave in the foreground. With its size and all its facets in the light, the following wave is at a conspicuous place in the picture for the viewer.
In addition, the waves in the light on the left and right sides of the picture differ significantly in shape and appearance and avoid any symmetry. I waited a long time for such an opportunity during my walks. I had the idea at the time to paint such a seascape using acrylic paint.
My Working Process
I used a white-primed canvas and deliberately left structure unchanged. The picture is very detailed on the foremost and subsequent waves, so I sketched them first. Firstly I primed the superior areas, like the sky, the reflection and the damp sand under the front wave.
I took photos now and again, printed them out and worked out some details with colored pencils. This is to acquaint myself with these details, because the acrylic colors dry out quickly when painting. On the palette I moisten the colors with distilled water. I worked with synthetic flat brushes in different widths. For details I used some fine red sable brushes. I make sure the colors harmonize with each other.
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