I spent the day in Essex with a painter I admire called Graham Webber. We painted side by side and it was a real treat! I loved watching him work and chatting art all day đŸ™‚Â 

Sometimes it feels very solitary as a painter but when these sort of days happen it feeds the artistic soul! And also gives me reassurance that the stuff I think and do as an artist is not alone for example taking photos for reference. Graham had his big Canon camera with him and was not abashed about taking photos as an aid memoire for back in the studio. It can often be frowned upon to use a photo to work from but as we discussed if you use them as a tool then why not!! So you are not doggedly copying but using it or several of them to help compose and colour your painting. Sometimes if there is a fleeting light on my subject or cloud formation I will take a photo in case I want to use it later. It can be hard to record and translate everything when doing a plein air.

The board I painted this on was a 12×14″ – experimenting with format shapes. It turned out to be too square for the subject. At home I decided the red boat / horizon line was too high so I have taken an inch off the bottom. (11×14″) You can see the ‘inch’ on the easel pic below!

Mine is the right, Graham’s is the left.