This is a simple painting….

Watercolor Painting of Coastal Fog

Brookings 1, Watercolor by Jeffrey Michael George, 2021

While waiting for a custom sweatshirt to be printed at a seaside shop, I was struck by the effect of the fog rolling in from the Pacific Ocean.  To explain the simple approach to painting this scene, I would offer this:  Nothing is “penciled in” or laid out, you just start painting.  Light gray sky first with some rough tree silhouettes establish the composition and allow you to further refine the perspective.  Next, some intermediate ground plane (brownish areas) to define the coastline.  Throwing some gray on what’s left over in the foreground completes the scene–and since I’m standing in a parking lot, I’m not going to add detail to this area, because it’s inconsequential.  The essential goal of this painting is to capture the fade-out effect of the fog in the atmosphere–the way it obscures more and more the further you look toward the horizon.  Just as in reality, the painting shows the distant landscape and ocean horizon barely discernable.  As trees, land forms and buildings get closer to you, they begin to gain slightly darker values, with the closest tree having the darkest value in the painting.  Two brushes used:  a wide flat and a pointed round.  Ultramarine, sepia, phthalo green, a little manganese are the only paints.  Size is 5″ x 8″.   I like paintings such as this because the goals are simple….and the end effect is clear and true to the initial intent and inspiration…no need to accent with cars, colorful buildings, or any other extraneous detail–things that would detract from the essential point being made.  Just an ode to the intrinsic beauty of nature in a tender moment.  And as an artist, I could not explain the simple joy of painting a scene like this–it’s cathartic and soothing and makes you feel at ease!