King of the Bell Buoy
My son and I were so lucky to get to spend some time in Newport Beach with his best buddy from school. Aside from the mild temperatures, enjoying everything alfresco, walking on Balboa Island (I took tons of pics. for paintings of these charming streets), hanging out with good friends and dinner on the beach, we were so lucky to see these seals. Some friends took us on a boat ride all around the marina. The highlight of our boat ride for not only our little ones, but, I think it brought out the child in all of us, was riding out to the bell buoy to see these seals. We were able to get very close and hang out for a bit to watch these cute guys swim and hang out on the bell buoy. I cannot say that they were sunbathing. There was such a thick mist in the air. They call it June Glooms and it was still hanging around on this morning even though it was mid July.
From the artist's point of view, although the original photo shows the entire bell buoy with several seals and even a seal swimming in the water, I focused on this group of seals for this painting. I did want to keep enough of the buoy in so that those familiar with the area would know exactly where this was when they see it and also, I liked the contrast of these wild creatures on this hard man made structure.
I painted the seals with quinacquidone gold, yellow ochre, brown madder, french ultramarine blue, cobalt blue and a mixture of permanent rose and Winsor Blue. The red in the buoy has about 5 different shades of orange to red. This painting is twice the size of most of my paintings. I felt like the size was necessary for the subject. I did enjoy having a larger area of paper to mix my colors on. In addition, I did use a 1 1/2" flat brush for most of the painting.
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