Wednesday, July 17, 2019


Starting on the background above the cliffs, I put down a number of washes keeping it light and slightly diffuse. I also added a few washes of cobalt blue plus cerulean for the sea. This was darkened and grayed a bit for the foreground shadow. I then laid on a number of different colors to the rocks trying to capture their unique tones. The shadowed area was mostly completed in sepia. There was a lot of back and forth trying to find a balance between the sunlit section and the shadowed part. Next I'll do more fine-tuning then let the painting sit for awhile to see if it needs any more work.

Monday, July 15, 2019


After doing the smaller oil study shown in the last post, I decided to do a larger painting of the same scene looking down from Sagres Fort. The composition here is slightly different from the earlier study as I wanted to move in slightly to feature more of the rocks. After lightly drawing in the composition using an HB pencil, I started in the background area with grayish washes to indicate the shadows on the distant rock faces. I also lightly washed in the sand at the base of the rocks. Moving closer in, the foreground rocks got a pale reddish-brown wash all over then when that was dry, I started adding in the shadows using sepia. It all looks a bit rough at the moment as I am still establishing some of the base tones, but most of this will be covered up with further layers of watercolor.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


This view down across the sea is from inside the fort at Sagres. I liked the way the shadow of the cliff face cut across the rocks and sea. The distant beach and landscape fading into the distance was also an important element in the composition. This small study was done in preparation for a larger watercolor painting that will follow shortly.
View From Sagres Fort, oil on canvas, 7" x 5".

Thursday, July 4, 2019


Near to where we were staying was the Ria Formosa wildlife sanctuary full of walking trails, beautiful vistas, birds and the sea. We squeezed in as many visits as possible being so easily accessible. I did quite a few paintings from the area, this small study is on the Western edge of the reserve where we saw so many White Storks. Weather was perfect on all the days we went - blue skies and incredible sunsets. Could live there quite happily!
Path through the Reserve, oil on canvas, 5" x 7".