Keith Bow­cock

Devon, UK, Thrill Seek­ers, oil, 12 x 24" (30 x 61 cm)

International Artist - - Art Challenge -


My In­spi­ra­tion

I am for­tu­nate to live by the sea, which has al­ways en­cour­aged me to carry my cam­era with me. I would de­scribe my­self as an ob­server and I am con­stantly see­ing in­spi­ra­tion for new paint­ings within the sur­round­ing seascape, land­scape or town­scape.

I was ex­plor­ing the rugged North At­lantic coast of Corn­wall (Poldark coun­try) with the aim of find­ing sub­ject mat­ter in the his­toric tin and cop­per mine re­mains. How­ever, when I stum­bled upon this scene, there was no con­test—i had the ba­sis of my next paint­ing.

The im­age in front of me de­picted drama; the light, the dan­ger, the surg­ing At­lantic waves be­low. It was a mo­ment in time that just had to be painted.

My De­sign Strat­egy

The strong sun­light was stun­ning, re­sult­ing in in­ter­est­ing shad­ows. This com­bined with the ge­ol­ogy of the land­scape gave some great light and dark pas­sages on the cliffs, with the sun­lit sea in­tro­duc­ing some beau­ti­ful con­trast­ing blue hues.

The temp­ta­tion, when il­lus­trat­ing climbers, is to go with a ver­ti­cal for­mat to ac­cen­tu­ate the drama. But I saw more drama in the wider land­scape, in­clud­ing the ocean. Rather than show the to­tal cliff height I opted for a 1:2 ra­tio, but no wider as I didn’t want the climbers to ap­pear too small.

I used a num­ber of my pho­to­graphs as ref­er­ence for the fi­nal com­po­si­tion, crop­ping and then “im­port­ing” the sea surge from one im­age to another adding strength to the ocean be­low.

My Work­ing Process

I pen­cilled the sketch onto ges­soed can­vas and then blocked in the sea and the var­i­ous greys in di­luted oils. I fol­lowed this by ap­ply­ing the base colours to the dif­fer­ent strata with bris­tle brushes, us­ing alkyd white in the mix to speed up the dry­ing time. I then painted in the main cracks and fis­sures in the cliff face, fol­lowed by paint­ing knife lay­ers of colour. It re­ally started to come to­gether when us­ing light acrylic brush touches to the light and shade ar­eas. I added a touch of sil­ver on the shore rocks and diox­azine pur­ple with French ul­tra­ma­rine in the shaded sea foam. I am pleased that the three-di­men­sional ef­fect still grabs me when I glance at the paint­ing.

Con­tact De­tails

» Email: kg.bow­cock@hot­ » Web­site: www.face­

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