High tide

I painted twice at Crosby Seafood in South Carolina. The first sketch was in my sketchbook but I went back a second time because I loved all the complexity and calligraphic marks I would have the opportunity to make because of the rigging and nets. That stuff is so much fun to paint. Luckily the second time I painted was during high tide and the boats were higher up in the water.

The marsh grasses in the foreground were a challenge. I wasn’t really sure how to deal with them so I painted a series of washes using lots of lines and texture, and tried to keep it quite simple. It’s a difficult shape to deal with — a big rectangle with not much going on — but I tried to suggest the marsh grass and leave it be. Painted on Arches paper, 14″ x 10″.


37 Comments on “High tide”

  1. Soni says:

    Beautifully done !!! You nailed it with subtlety especially set against that fab boat

    If we didn’t have your work to inspire, entertain & teach us, it’d be a drab world

    This trip’s work shows your enjoyment but it’s also letting me revisit some of my wonderful Southern memories – DÜÑKÃ

  2. Erik Madsen says:

    Absolutely beautiful, you sure excel at nautical themes

  3. Soni says:

    Correction – plural boats

  4. Monique says:

    Shari..love this..like all you do..
    can I bug you w/ a question?S…
    How do you scan the whites so white?
    I watercolored garden seed packets..on watercolor paper..scanned..and really ..nothing looks white..nor the paper..nor the white areas..everything is just off..

  5. Dml says:

    As always you seem to make something that seems so complex look so simple! Thank you for sharing and guidance.

  6. I love the wet sky and the rigging on the side trawlers-those are treacherous rigs to work.Your painting shows them so in their element-nice.

  7. joantav says:

    Well done! You did a great job on the rigging and nets of the boat. I always get so lost in those! Looks like you are really enjoying those very different views down there.

  8. Dottie Aiken says:

    Really nice. So glad you got to go back. Did you draw it out first or go straight to paint?

  9. stephanie descoteaux says:

    Your marsh grass is actually quite good even very good. I googled watercolour marsh grass and tried to find your context. I couldn’t. It’s where artists fear to tread unless they are using another media. It was fun researching that. Congratulations on another fine painting. Bravo.

  10. andre savard. says:


  11. Helmut says:

    Great job!

  12. Alison says:

    I was walking by a big rectangle of marsh grass just yesterday! Well, dry, dead grass in snow… but, I wondered the same thing, how to treat that in a watercolour sketch. Your treatment is just right, and a perfect contrast to to the complex and busy rigging. Simply marvellous!

  13. Gil Zarins says:

    The complexity is so cleanly done, everywhere I look it’s bewildering how well u accomplish it. I think I can guess, though, practice, practice, practice.

    • Practice, practice, that’s true. But don’t you find that every time you paint there is something new to learn? I think thinking the steps through before you paint helps too.

  14. ChesapkLady says:

    I think you did great with the grasses, Shari! It’s a challenge to show what they look like and give that sense of depth and color — the MASS of it. You nailed it, in my opinion! Thanks for posting this.

  15. anne farmer says:

    I think the composition, with all the verticals , is great. And I saved your scanning advice from the previous post you referred to – Thanks

  16. a wonderful scene, so lifelike

  17. Shari – I just want to tell you how much you have enriched my life in watercolor. I share your name with everyone who might be interested (I founded The Southwest Florida Watercolor Society 3 years ago). I look forward to your “Sketchbook” Series and wait for a quiet moment to really enjoy it. Thank you for this gift, you are very generous, Laurie Dodge Paci

    • Thanks so much Laurie. One of these days I will make it down your way and try to paint with all of you. We are expecting another snowstorm in Montreal tonight — makes me want to hop on plane right now. I’m getting kind of fed up of the white stuff.

  18. P.S. I just discovered John Singer Sargent’s “Muddy Aligators” – so superb, it brings tears to my eyes! Laurie Dodge Paci

    • Wow, wow and wow. I had never seen this painting. I can see why you might cry. I saw the Sargent show in New York a few years ago. It made me cry to see so many of the original paintings I had been admiring in reproductions. But this one is very special. I wonder if it is on display in Worcester.

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