Calm before a storm

If you look at reflections on their own, they are wonderfully abstract, especially on a windless day like today when there’s no movement in the water to disturb them. I got lost in the patterns of these for a long time before drawing them, and then decided that I would try to treat them as a single painted shape. Squinting helps to see that shape.

I used an unusual brush to paint the shape. One that holds a lot of water but is very thin and floppy. It’s a Tintoretto brush that I bought in Italy. And because it holds so much water, and makes a very wet shape, it allows me to constantly change the colour of my wash, as I move from left to right, without have dry edges. If you want to see this unusual brush, have a look here.

11 Comments on “Calm before a storm”

  1. Jeff Gold says:

    I love the high horizon, allowing for long squiggle reflections.The dock shadows really set off the boats. Everything just works to make a beautiful composition, light and airy. Love it.


    • Thanks so much Jeff. This particular marina had no boats in it last week, but I was so happy to see them in the water today, despite the heat here in Montreal. Hope it’s not too hot in Vermont!


  2. What a wonderful painting. Great squiggles (that’s a technical term, right?).
    Oh I do get tempted by all the lovely brushes you introduce to us followers. This one is particularly pretty.


  3. This is the exact view I see from our boat at the local marina. I seem to get get caught up in putting in too many details. Your beautiful sketch has inspired me to try again. Just love your sketch.


    • Lucky you to have that view from your boat Carmel. If you want to paint a scene like this, keep it simple. I do a more detailed drawing of the front layer of boats but the back rows are just spots and dots of lights and darks. That makes it a lot simpler. Plus, when I paint the foreground boats, I try to combine the shape of the boat and its reflection. That also helps.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shari … that does help. You combine the boat with the reflection similar to connecting an object or person with a shadow. Thank you for the tip. I hope to get started on the water course this weekend. Then down to the marina 🙂


  4. Nice painting I really like how you got the reflections on the boats.


  5. joantav says:

    I don’t think it is necessarily the brush…it is the hand holding the brush that makes these wonderful reflections. Well done!


  6. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Afternoon dear friend Shari,

    Really looking calm, amazing sketch, as usual.,



  7. I feel like I am there. It’s so cool and calm-looking when it’s three digit temperatures here. So inviting. Just pulls me in as all of your sketches do.


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