Green Islands, Albany, WA. Photo by Andy Dolphin.
Green Islands, Albany. Photo by Andy Dolphin.

Date: Monday, November 12, 2012
Weather Forecast: Close to perfect again!

Today delivered another beautiful spring afternoon and plein air painting was back on the agenda. I headed down to the Gap in Albany’s Torndirrup National Park to see what was on offer. This place is very changeable and I’ve witnessed it during storms and on the calmest of days. Today was fine and warm but there was a decent swell slamming waves into the granite cliffs so that’s what I decided to paint.

Here’s the “gotta have” location shot showing the painting as it was when I put the brushes away. It was getting dark when I packed up so I’ll take a look at it in daylight and see if it needs any adjustments.

Plein air seascape painting in oils on location. By Andy Dolphin.

With this painting I once again chose a distant subject rather than looking for something nearby and ready-made for painting. I’ve looked at this point many times before and generally ignored it as anything more than potential background material but today, with the sun setting further to the south than on previous visits, I decided it was a worthwhile subject in its own right. One advantage of painting things that are a bit further way is that minor detail is easier to ignore because you just can’t see it.
One thing I notice along much of the south coast of Western Australia is that the hills are so high and steep that the sky is often almost hidden from normal view in several directions. With access to many beaches requiring a long walk down rocks, sand tracks or stairways, the overwhelming feeling at sea level is that of being down in a hole. I’m interested in capturing that feeling in future paintings.


  (Point break. Plein air sketch. 34x20cm oil on board. © Andy Dolphin)
Here it is as it came off the easel. At this stage I’ve made no additions or adjustments in the studio.