Spring in Papamoa has brought us lots and lots of rain, many cloudy days and few sunny ones. These cloudy overcast days with a barely a breath of wind and virtually no swell create an inspiring sea; the whitewash and foam look whiter than white, the sea takes on a viridian green colour and set against the cloudy grey sky I find it creates a calming atmosphere.

With this in mind I wanted to create a painting to hopefully capture the look and feel of the beach here on these spring days. While I worked I took a whole load of pics which ‘sort of’ describe how I work, from what looks like a kindergarten project into something that resembles our coast.

These first pics are very roughly getting paint on to describe a cloudy grey sky, the paint goes on with 1″ synthetic Taklon brushes then I blend/move that paint around with the Badger brush till I get ‘the look’ I’m chasing at this stage.


I generally work my way down the canvas from the sky to the foreground, often I will give the canvas an orange/umber wash before I start and I’m thinking I should have done that here. This is just an initial block in and I will paint the canvas a few more times yet with paint and glazing.

Here the painting is entirely blocked in, it looks pretty rough but I’m liking it. I painted this in two sessions to get to this stage.

I’ve worked on the distant sea ripples and the broken wave whitewash, it’s on the verge of the fun part when the painting really starts to take shape(hopefully!).

Probably the most dramatic change, I glazed the sky and the distant sea and obviously started the foam in the foreground. I use a variety of synthetic and hog hair filberts, flat and round brushes to paint the foam, whatever works at the time! but I generally use No.1 – No.4 rounds and flats for the detailed stuff. I added a couple of local landmark Islands on the horizon also.


I think I painted the area from the long breaking wave to the foreground whitewash maybe 6 times lightening and darkening, adding paint and taking it off till I get it to this point.

Here’s the painting close to finished, it’s 1230 x 760mm oil on French linen, I like the way it captures the essence of whats happening on our beach at the moment. The canvas is completely divided by the long broken wave, I’m sure this breaks lots of composition rules but maybe because it helps illustrate the sea coming towards the viewer, it seems to work. Anyway thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the pics.

Cheers, Wayne