I liked my little plein air oil study of Misery Beach so much that I decided to do a bigger version in the studio.

I added a few extra colours to the palette for this one just to give me a few more options for playing warms against cools. One downside to a three-colour palette, like I used on the study, is that all colours, whether in light or in shadow, have to be mixed from the same base set. It delivers a level of unity to the finished painting but reduces the opportunity to reinforce contrasts.

So I added a cadmium yellow, cerulean blue and permanent crimson to the original ultramarine, burnt sienna and yellow ochre. The cad yellow would find itself added to most sunlit areas and the crimson gives me wonderfully purplish shadows on the sand.

Here’s the main stages the painting went through. You’ll notice that I gave the primed board a wash of yellow ochre before I started.

Misery Beach, Albany. Step by step seascape in oil by Andy Dolphin

Here’s the “finished” piece.

Misery Beach, Albany. Seascape in oil by Andy Dolphin
 (Misery Beach Dunes. 48x35cm oil on board. © Andy Dolphin)

I’m not entirely convinced I’m finished with it just yet. Time will tell.