The actual title of this painting is “Postcard from Paradise” but it’s the usual spot at Hobe Sound Beach. This was done from a photograph that I had taken, actually I had taken many photographs that day because while I was there painting another painting more umbrellas kept popping up. I wanted to be sure that I had the maximum number of umbrellas and this is what I ended up with. The beach drops off and people set themselves up on the edge of the dune.
This is a pastel painting on Wallis Museum Grade paper. It’s a decent size – 18×24 and I started with a water color underpainting. The underpainting is mostly a block in of complementary colors. So, in the grassy foreground I used a reddish brown and pink for the sky and water. An underpainting also saves on pastels, because the Wallis paper is a sanded paper that will eat up the pastels fairly quickly.
It seems like I go to the beach a lot – but actually I don’t go nearly enough.
My favorite thing to do is paint on location and the Hobe Sound Beach is very condusive to that. Everyone is using the fancy french term now – “plein air”, which is painting on location. My main criteria for selecting a place to paint is some kind of a view (obviously), accessibility (easy access is important when you are hauling art supplies), and restrooms (if I plan on being there awhile). Most of the time I’m not at a location more than a few hours, depending on the size of the painting.
The Hobe Sound Beach is a great place to paint because there is a covered pavillion with a number of picnic tables and there is a convenient rest room right next to it. Here in Florida the shade is very important and even with the shade I still wear a hat in case I set up in a spot where the sun moves in later on.
If I decide to paint with oil paint then I usually use painting knives. The knives are fun and easy to paint with, not to mention the wonderful impasto effect. My preference is to use canvas panels that are made by Pintura – they are wood with canvas on the surface. Stretched canvas has too much give to use with a knife. Most people paint small when they paint on location, like maybe 6×8. When I first started I used 8×10 or 11×14 and this painting is a whopping 16×20. Painted on a very windy day – I had to hang on to it the whole time, which was only a couple of hours.
It occurred to me this morning that I have more to show from Hobe Sound Beach and don’t know why my post was so short yesterday. My plan isn’t to blog daily because then I wouldn’t get any painting done, but will post frequently to start anyway.
This is a full shot of the painting that I use on my header and avatar. If you walk down to the end of Hobe Sound Beach this is what you see. Because it’s such a hike I painted this from a photo instead of hauling my art supplies out there.
I’ve also painted this view in pastels and it usually is hanging up at JayMar in Stuart, FL where I sometimes teach pastels.
Here is the larger version of the lifeguard station that I painted on location:
This is one of my small works – in fact I’ve painted this in a larger format as well. The lifeguard station is actually not the coolest type of lifeguard station in FL. It’s one of those metal things that seem to be portable. I’d prefer a nice old wooden structure with more character like the ones down in South Beach.
Welcome to Design of the Picture Book! I'm Carter Higgins, and I'm a writer and librarian for kids. I spent a spectacular stint as the Children's Book Editor at <a href="http://www.designmom.com/">Design Mom</a> which I loved! You can find my column <a href="http://www.designmom.com/category/childrens-lit/">here</a>.<br /> I'm a K-6 librarian, a former-ish graphic designer, an SCBWI member, and a huge fan of words and pictures.<br /> Represented by <a href="http://www.rpcontent.com/">Rubin Pfeffer of Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC</a>.