Sessile Blue - Low Tide - 40" X 36" - OOC

edited October 31 in Post Your Paintings

This is a rockpool at Fossil Cove. It was a cloudy (but still bright) day so there are no cast shadows or bright patches of sunlight. I was interested in the sessile life forms - the mussels, barnacles, seaweed etc and the transparency of the water that allowed the colours beneath to show through the reflected light of the sky on the water's surface. I wanted the painting to look realistic but also to emphasize the abstract elements. I had fun painting the ripples and movement of the water. 

 It's hard to convey the impact of a big painting in a small photo but if you right click and select open in new tab, you'll see a bigger view with more detail. 

It's a crappy photo of the painting taken at night under poor light. The colours are off but the photo gives an idea of the painting. I'll take a better photo in daylight tomorrow. 

Anyway, I got the canvas covered tonight and was hoping for feedback. It's still a WIP and still wet so I can make changes.

Thanks for taking a look. All comments/suggestions/critiques gratefully accepted. :)


EDIT: See better photo below.


  • @tassieguy

    Beautifully done Rob, another classic.

    I love the vegetation on the rocks and the swirling of the waters.

    I cant think of any suggestions as I love it as it is.  :)

  • Wow @tassieguy!  Another beautiful painting!  The water ripples are fantastic.  Again, your detail is exquisite.  No suggestions here.  Incredibly beautiful!
  • The swirls in the water are beautiful @tassieguy one question, the bright greens in the lower left corner,  is it that bright?  Beautiful work, thanks for sharing here!
  • Really nice movement of the water particularly in the upper right portion of the painting. It's difficult to evaluate the scale of the scene, but the colors are amazing. I also like the way you painted the ocean floor under the water. Beautiful work. 
  • edited October 31
    Stunning. The movement, the light, the scene portrayed in such detail. Part of our experience of a big sea is that up close experience of water pushed and drawn around the rocks, shellfish and seaweeds near our feet. I can smell the salt and hear the waves. I can see it's overcast without you telling us.
    The lighting is perfect, with that balance of translucency and reflection. I find ripples challenging, and yet you have patches of them on an undulating 'terrain' and angles to the light - I'm just amazed at how authentically you've captured it. I particularly love the ripples in the shadow of the rocks. As a whole, you've captured that experience for someone. Having copied a Van Gogh, that swirling movement takes a bit of analysis and planning. And whoever purchase it leads the eye in ever different directions in a kind of fascination.
    Rock in the foreground seems a tad less finished? It might be the photo. And I mean tad if anything.
  • Thanks very much, @MichaelD, @A_Time_To_Paint, @CBG, @JerryW, @whunt and @[email protected]. I really appreciate your comments. @JerryW, I'll check the values down in that corner. @Abstraction, you're right about the foreground rock. There's still a little to do there.

    Thanks again to all for your comments.  :) 
  • Beautiful! And not sure, how about others... If I do not think about mussels that help to "scale" , I have an impression of much larger view, like a bay surrounded by rocks and I am standing 20 meters above it.
  • Thanks, @outremer. The mussels etc do provide scale. Without them it might be difficult to judge how far away the water is.  :)
  • I like all the blues and the swirls of the water.  

  • @tassieguy

    Nooo… to cluttering up that rock at bottom. That smooth surface is delicious and interesting precisely because of the contrast with more cluttered less smooth areas.  

  • Love the water! I feel like the foreground rock feels a bit flat, but that might just be me.
  • Thanks, @CBG. I won't be putting any more "fur" on that rock.  :)

    Thanks, @Richard_P. I think when you see the painting in the flesh that rock looks better. I've used thick paint and big brushstrokes there to make it look solid and chunky and stand out from the softness of thinly painted water, but it doesn't come across in the photo.  :)
  • tassieguy said:
    Thanks, @CBG. I won't be putting any more "fur" on that rock.  :)

    Thanks, @Richard_P. I think when you see the painting in the flesh that rock looks better. I've used thick paint and big brushstrokes there to make it look solid and chunky and stand out from the softness of thinly painted water, but it doesn't come across in the photo.  :)
    Ah. It was that form definition and separation i was considering also, so that makes sense. It looks stronger in this second photo also. Would love to see your full exhibition in a gallery. The collections you do, in terms of art, the whole is greater than the parts. Everyone who buys a painting should have a little booklet that shows the rest of the set. Or a coffee table book of the last five years, each chapter a different collection, would be a superb idea. You should pitch to a publisher. Both the local and the tourist market would be strong. What's next - Bay of Fires? Franklin River?
  • Another masterpiece.  Very beautiful.
  • edited November 1
    Funny you should mention the Bay of Fires, @Abstraction.  I have just pre-sold a very large painting that will be in my next show to some people from Melbourne who were on holiday in Tasmania. Their final couple of days in Tassie were going to be spent at the Bay of Fires before flying back home. I told them I had never been there so they asked for my email and said they would send me photos. Which they did. Some of them really good. I was grateful for the sale so told them that after I got the show out of the way I would paint them a small picture of the Bay of Fires based on one of their photos for free and send it to them. So, yes, it looks like the Bay of Fires will be up next.  :)
  • I've been there, about 8 years ago. It's stunning. I was trying to get back into painting and was taking photos with that in mind. Lots of great photos - but not a single one can I find to paint. It made me realise I didn't understand composition. I didn't know how to frame what I was seeing. I've found listening to Tischler (when he reviews people's compositions) and Ian Roberts has helped me. That's why I always comment on people's designs on this site - because it's a weakness and I'm actively trying to deconstruct why it works.
    Now that I do more editing of photos I may have another look at the Bay of Fires shots. 
  • edited November 1
    I'm the same, @Abstraction. I find composition the hardest, most baffling thing in painting. There are a few rules of thumb that provide some guidance, but I don't think there is any surefire formula or recipe that will gurantee a good composition every time.  We just have to try things and see. But image editors have made it easier to move things around until we get something that starts to feel right. It was instructive to see how you manipulated things in that painting of your wife on the seashore up in the north of WA.
  • What's striking about this painting, and pretty much all your paintings I've seen, is how well-composed they are.  You have a feel for composition no question. 
  • Thanks very much, @Gary_Heath:)

    It's funny you should mention composition because it's what I agonize most about. I find it the hardest thing in painting. I spend days working out a composition before I touch the brushes and I'm still never really sure a composition is going to work.  If only there were a surefire recipe for good composition. 
  • edited November 6
    [...] I spend days working out a composition before I touch the brushes [...]  That's surely something worth emphasising and learning from.  Ian Roberts would approve!
  • I’ll just pass on what my wife said when I showed her. Spectacular! That blue/green patch of water in the bottom right hand corner is wonderful. 
  • @tassieguy:) 
    Well, there's art (apparently); 'high' art, and there's interpretation. I think on this occasion you have achieved quite spectacularly both of the latter two. Have been admiring for a while now your landscape paintings – and without commenting personally.
    Landscape paintings on the whole are attractive, easily interpreted and appreciated - It's difficult to display one upside-down – and most people can relate to them easily and naturally. On this occasion I think you have created something really quite special. Well done, and thank you for sharing it here.
    Kind rgds, Duncan
  • Thanks very much, Duncan (@MoleMan). Much appreciated. 

    I've done a few still lifes and one portrait, but I've never really been interested in painting anything but landscape. Trees and rocks, mountains, the ocean ... they speak to me and move me in a way that other subjects don't. And as you say, they are very accessible for viewers. I'm very pleased you like this one.  :)

  • Amazing! This looks like as if you managed to paint a reflection of Van Gogh's Starry Night!
  • Thanks very much, @KaustavM. Much appreciated.  :)
  • I keep looking for fish.. :o
  • You executed it astoundingly, Rob.  You're extremely excellent at conveying the motion, presence, of the water and rock.  

    Incredibly impressive "cloudy day" realism.  That's really hard to do because the clouds prevent the sun from throwing any "easy" contrast on the objects.

    I want to comment to you that this is not one of my favorites of yours.  I suppose the particular subject matter on this painting doesn't appeal to me as so many of your others have.  However, there is no fault in the composition.  I wonder if it's the blue color-- it makes me feel cold and the mussels, barnacles, and seaweeds' presence makes me not want to enjoy the water.

    I only share this because I believe you would appreciate all of my thoughts on this, Rob.  :)   
  • Thanks, @allforChrist. I do appreciate your thoughts.

    I agree it's not a place one would want to swim. Those mussels and barnacles would slice your feet to shreds. And it's winter, so no sun. I knew the subject would not appeal to everyone and so made a composition that could be seen as almost abstract. Also, that old saying "Blue and green should never be seen" comes to mind. But those are the colours there. And I was interested in the sessile life on the rocks, so I decided to paint it anyway.

    I really appreciate your honesty about your reaction to this one, @allforChrist. Unfortunately, you won't like the next one either. Similar subject and colours but close up. Thanks for taking the time to comment.  :)
  • I always thought being able to paint what's under the water is a magical property of paint. Sand, stone, rocks etc. This is just mind blowing.
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