Sunset, Porth Nanven, February 4th, 2019, 5.45pm

Plein air, oil on board apprx. 24 x 15cm

Thick fog and rain in the morning gave way to a beautifully clear, sunny and warm afternoon, seemingly spring like after a prolonged spell of poor, damp weather. While attempting to paint the sunset, a rescue by air ambulance was underway over on the south face of the cape in the fading light$.


Rain, Porth Nanven, January 19th 2019, 2.30pm

Plein air, oil on board apprx. 24 x 15cm

After more than a month of dull, uninteresting weather conditions and very little sunshine, a day of frequent, heavy rain showers and some decent waves provided the impetus to go down to Porth Nanven and try some painting in the rain.

Painting in oils in falling rain or snow is always a challenge as not surprisingly, oil paint and water don’t mix. The water contaminates the paint forming a gloopy, very difficult to control emulsion, while droplets of water on the painting surface prevent later layers of paint from adhering to the layers underneath. Still, despite the difficulties it was good to get outside again to paint the ocean.

Porth Nanven, November 18th, 2018

Two sketches of the Cape from across Porth Nanven on a blustery, chilly autumn day.  There’s not a lot variation between the high and low water mark during this part of the tidal cycle, so incoming waves tend spend themselves further out to sea.  On occasion a series of big waves pile up over the off-shore reefs in a mountainous cascade, the easterly wind shredding the wave crests and driving curtains of spume out to sea — only the remnant ‘ghosts’ of these waves remain to tumble into shore.


Plein air, oil on board apprx. 24 x 15cm


Plein air, oil on board apprx. 24 x 15cm

Porth Nanven Morning, November 11th 2018, 10.15am

Plein air, oil on board apprx. 24 x 15cm

A blustery November morning down at Porth Nanven. A steady southwesterly force 5 to 6 meant I had to stabilize my gear with some rocks ( which didn’t help with the wind buffeting the panel I was painting on! ) but that was preferable and easier to deal with than conditions where a sudden heavy gust can easily drive your gear and painting face down in the dirt or straight into the ocean before you have time to react. In windy conditions even a small panel can act as a very efficient sail. When I attempt some larger paintings on site, guy ropes and a couple of tent pegs will come in handy whenever the wind is up.

Autumn Light

Two views of the Cape on a gloriously sunny autumn day, that, apart from the colours of the landscape, could have easily been late April or early May.

October 20th 5.00pm, 2018. Plein air, oil on board apprx. 20x15cm


October 20th, 11am, 2018. Plein air, oil on board apprx. 20x15cm

Lights On, September 26th, 2018, 8.15pm

oil on board apprx. 20x15cm

A sketch begun on site and finished indoors using colour notes as a reference.  I’ve been thinking about buying some clip-on led reading lights, but so far all the ones I’ve seen are too cool in colour temperature, which will lead to the final painting being much too warm,  and while specialist led lighting with adjustable colour temperature is available it’s presently far too expensive for my purposes. A bit more research may come up with a compromise that is affordable and practical for outdoor painting at night.