Hope Cove Boats

Hope Cove Boats – finished painting. Gouache and watercolour. 11×15 on Saunders Waterford paper.

Hope Cove is a place very dear to my heart. Pretty much all of my childhood holidays were spent here, along with millions of my cousins and distant realtives. This annual reunion carries on every July, and in 2015 I took a photo that I always mean to make into a painting when the time was right.

Original photo, taken in 2015.

I changed the perspective slightly for the painting. Remember, we are making a piece of art, not trying to reproduce a photo as exactly as possible. What would be the point of that?

This painting also started off being a watercolour and somewhere during the process I decided to switch to gouache, which you will see in the photos below. In this painting very little of the watercolour underpainting shows through in the finished result, although its spirit is there.

The initial sketch, done using brown watercolour pencil.

The initial sketch I did using a brown watercolour pencil, which I think is OK if you’re going to use gouache later but might be a bit heavy for watercolour. I also think I pressed a bit too heavily when I drew the image, which meant that corrections were a bit difficult. My recommendation: use a 4B pencil instead, which makes a nice dark mark without pressing to hard.

Painted sky, first pass on the water and the sand on the beach

I decided that the beach colour wasnt quite right so darkened it down a little bit. I also started to paint the hill in the background. In later paintings I’ve gotten better at painting the hills and trees etc.

I painted part the boat and some of the detail in the water. Then Began another layer on the hillside. At this point I’m trying to get the reflections in the water established.

Noodling backwards and forwards.

Adding the more reflections into the water using a thicker mix of the blue paint. The blue is ultramarine mixed with white and a touch of cerulean blue.

I finished the hill and the detail on the boat in the middle distance. Started working on the shoreline. That needed a little bit of foam and sparkles on the waves as they are breaking on the beach.

I also added the shadow under the boat and the ropes holding the boats in place. The finished painting looks OK, in the companion painting I did next (upcoming blog post) I have got the process down a little bit more and so looks a bit ‘tighter’.

Finished painting.

One response to “Hope Cove Boats”

  1. […] by the view across this tiny harbour to the hill opposite for many years. Earlier this year I did a watercolour and gouache painting of the same scene, which was done in a looser style but set me off on a quest to paint the most realistic water and […]


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