Warm and cool at Halibut Point

After a week of painting in Rockport, Mass., I’m starting to scan the paintings I did when I was there. This holiday I decided to work large — mostly half sheets of watercolour paper (15″ x 22″) — so scanning them all is a tedious process. Each painting takes eight scans before I can stitch the image together with the magic of Photoshop.

Halibut Point State Park is a place I visit almost every year. Apart from the gulls sunning themselves on the rocks, a pesky fly that tortured me for hours, and a few hikers strolling by, it is a totally serene place to spend a bit of time.  I’ve painted the granite walls of the abandoned quarry many times, but this time I focussed on simplification of shapes and contrast of warm and cool tones in the rocks. If you squint your eyes when you look at the rocks from a distance, only the biggest masses stand out. That is what I try to capture. Think of each rock as a volume is space with sides that face the light and sides that are in shadow. The ones facing the light are often warmer looking and the ones in shadow are cooler. That is the pattern I try to set up. At the end I add some details in the closer rocks — finer lines and a bit of texture. Painted on Fabriano CP 200 lb paper, 15″ x 22″.


69 Comments on “Warm and cool at Halibut Point”

  1. Rene Wojcik says:

    Beautiful painting, Shari…but I don’t understand why you are scanning the image??? Just take a digital photo with your iPhone or iPad and download it as a JPEG. You can easily crop the photo. It only takes minutes.

    • HI Rene,
      Thanks so much for writing.
      In answer to your comment, if I am travelling I do take a quick pic with my iPhone or iPad and that usually suffices. But for archival purposes, as well as for entering my paintings in shows, I need to have a more accurate image that reflects the colour well. I find that scanning is the best way to do this. If I take a photo, it requires a lot of colour correction in Photoshop whereas a scan is near perfect from the start. That’s my long explanation for why I spend all this time scanning.


      • Rene Wojcik says:

        Thanks Shari, I understand your method. Somewhat tediois and time consuming. I use a Canon EOS, photoshop the image and it turns out pretty good especially when I use the directive from the NWS or AWS. They have specific rules to follow to get a pretty accurate color image.

  2. Doug Elliot says:

    A fabulous painting.

  3. Wow..that is beautiful! One of my favorite places to visit! I need to take my sketchbook next time..;)

    • Just a few decades of practice…

      • Carolyn says:

        I saw something on the net recently: When you buy something from an artist you’re buying more than an object. You’re buying hundreds of hours of errors and experimentation. You’re buying years of frustration and moments of pure joy. You’re not buying just one thing, You are buying a piece of a heart, a piece of a soul, a small piece of someone else’s life. HOW VERY TRUE!! … Just a few decades of practice…

  4. Alison says:

    Wow! Stunning Shari. I love the abstract quality. Wonderful composition and textures. This is a truly spectacular painting. I feel I could never tire of looking at it.

  5. ksbeth says:

    beautiful, shari )

  6. TonyU says:

    Wow! And the trees are just perfect too. Hope you had a great week and looking forward to seeing more.

  7. Soni McFarland says:

    Thank you for the lessons in this gorgeous painting

    Besides simplifying your rocks, it’s going to be an enormous help next Plein Air

    Really appreciate this

  8. in says:

    I can absolutely feel the cool waters in this piece. Great job!

  9. Lin Frye says:

    LOVE this Shari! Did you mix your greys and if so — which colors did you use? LOVE how you use greys!

  10. Wow! Love the water and the craggy cliff side. 😍

  11. Marylin Smith says:

    GORGEOUS Shari…tfs

  12. Chris Rusk says:

    Gorgeous… love the way you paint!

  13. simplykailin says:

    A really pretty painting!

  14. janewright2017 says:

    I am drawn in by your colours and use of light…terrific.

  15. Lee says:

    Shari, this is lovely. I’m fascinated by rocks and am struggling with how to approach painting them. I always examine your works. What are your go -to grey/brown mixes?

    • HI Lee, My go-to mix is Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine but this time I also used Cobalt Blue because it’s more opaque than Ultramarine. I also used a little Alizarin Crimson to get a more purplish hue in the rocks. Hope all is well with you!

  16. andre savard. says:

    Very good advice about focusing on the large mass first. Excellent.

  17. rosjenke says:

    I didn’t think it possible but you just keep getting better. This is superb. Thanks for going to the trouble of scanning. I’m lazy, it’s just an iPad photo for me.

    • Thanks Ros. I scan because I want more colour accuracy. I thought this one might be good to enter in exhibitions and for that I need better colour. If I take a photo there is too much colour correction to do. Scanning is more accurate.

  18. Mary Duncan says:

    Shari wish you would teach us how to do plain sire in the way that you do !!

  19. Mary Duncan says:

    Sorry about the typo 🤔

  20. Linda Murray says:

    Beautiful, Shari. A sense of solitude.

  21. Jane Reeder says:

    That is wonderful! I just tried doing reflections without much success. Yours are so believable.

  22. great work – with your permission I’ll reblog this.

  23. Carmen Renaud says:

    Absolutely stunning piece.

  24. Connie Renaud says:

    Stunning. I love it.

  25. johnahancock says:

    Great use of flat and near flat value passages to define the volume/form in light (esp. for the rocky outcrop at center/middle of the image). This makes a really nice contrast with the similarly painted but less volumetric rendering of areas of the further shoreline and deeper background.
    Handsome painting.

  26. John says:

    Really beautiful painting Shari!

  27. Fiona Gibbon-Taillefer says:

    Love this painting!

  28. wingsoflight says:

    Absolutely amazing such a beautiful piece of work.

  29. Mary King says:

    Spectacular!! Thank you for sharing this!

  30. Gracias por tus explicaciones, son sumamente expresivas muy profesionales.

  31. Gracias por tus explicaciones son sumamente enriquecedoras.

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