Sunday, 2 August 2015

Pyfleet Week 1-8th August

Fancy trying your hand at sketching & painting sailing boats ?

What better place to begin than by watching the great variety of boats racing away during Pyfleet week...this week... in Brightlingsea:

These paintings were completed in the studio after sitting sketching away... I have to be really fast and only jot down the main shapes that first catch my eye, filling pages and pages with rough sail shapes & people's silhouettes... all the time looking out to sea and drawing "blind"- hardly looking down at the paper
But one year I was lucky enough to see this boat coming straight towards me, travelling really fast, out on its own ahead in the race & clearly on a winning streak with the wind full behind its sails...

Later this sleek sailing boat below was riding high on the waves with a good strong wind; dashed straight up to where I was sitting at Splash Point & suddenly jibed just before hitting the sea wall steps !  Wow ! Boom riding over, almost into the sea wall, front sail flapping & spray flying everywhere as it dashed off at a sharp angle to continue the race...
 I really enjoyed the challenge of catching this, using a palette knife on the sails to give the sense of power as they turned slap into the wind right in front of me.

Then another day there wasn't even a breath of air: one of those hot hazy mornings before high tide where the sea is calm as a millpond...

A few boats had ventured out, only to become totally becalmed !
They were stuck there for nearly an hour as the tide glided in, barely moving the reflections.

This was a real gift for me... as I could sit & sketch to my hearts content...ending up with these 2 paintings (above: "Becalmed" & below : "Waiting for the Race to Begin " )

Once the tide was up, they all set sail... 

... only to discover the wind rather variable still...
some were soon taking the breeze from one another (whether they intended to or not !) 
whilst three had managed to get ahead and two others were yelling to one another: " Lets nip round behind this lot !" "Yea ! theres room on t'other get around them quick !

I really enjoyed painting this one, hoping to convey the  sense of confusion afloat.

Wonder what awaits us at Brightlingsea this week ?