Beach painting Afternoon tide

Having taking a break from painting for a short while during August, I am back painting the beach at St Annes-on-sea in Lancashire. My latest original painting is this one: Afternoon tide.

Picture of Afternoon tide original watercolour painting by Timothy Gent for news article
Afternoon tide | Watercolour on paper

Like many of my seascape paintings, this is inspired by the light found on the shore. Afternoon tide shows the striking sunlight against the clouds on a summers day. The reflections show in the watery sands left after the movement of the tide.

This painting shows the beautiful atmosphere of bright, contrasting sunlight against the sandy beach and the sea. The distance out to the sea is quite far and there are often large areas of water left by the tide as it moves back and forth throughout the day. You can see the distant tide and the little hints of movement and sparkling sea in the distance.

I’ve suggested the wonderful open space and sense of scale found on the beach. This is always something which strikes you, especially if you are revisiting St Annes-on-sea beach or if you see it for the first time.

I’ve painted the broken cloud mostly by leaving the first wash of colour visible. This foundation wash is a mixture of Naples Yellow and Lemon yellow by Schminke. The super blue colour is again a mixture, involving a magnificent Cobalt blue and a touch of Permanent Alizarin Crimson by Daniel Smith which combines to push the cobalt blue more towards purple. This blue creates such a lovely texture when it is washed across the Arches Aquarelle paper - a delight to use. The foreground also included further washes of colour with a dryish brush to suggest the texture of sand.

The watercolour is ready to frame as it is and as some of my collectors have mentioned, it really becomes something special once it is mounted and framed to suit your interior. A lovely reminder of that brilliance of light that afternoon brings from a beautiful sandy beach at St Annes-on-sea.

Published August 2022