On the Breakwater – Daily Painting

Breakwater – Approx 10.5″ x 5.5″ – Watercolor on paper

Sometimes, instead of drawing something from life or a photo, I just like to start painting and see what emerges. This little sketch began with some large juicy strokes of dark colors, applied with a large flat brush. I leaned back and it looked like rocks to me, and some manipulation with a credit card revealed sharp breaks and flat edges. To that I added some water and a sky to make an imaginary scene along a breakwater. This little exercise was a lot of fun to do – no need for underdrawing or attention to specific details – just paint!


  1. Terry Banderas
    January 30, 2007

    Nice little exercise. Excellent job on the flat planes of the rocks. Use of white where water crashes beneath rocks is very nice.

  2. Wendee
    January 30, 2007

    Oh wonderful. The freedom of it all is evident, very expressive. Great bold, *juicy* color, indeed! Yum!

  3. Wendy
    January 30, 2007

    Now that is freedom from trying to stay close to a scene in front of you. Nice shapes and hey, what id you do with your credit card? Cover it with paint?

  4. Mariana
    January 30, 2007

    wow I love the energy in this, it’s wonderfully solid yet active. Great splashes of colour!

  5. Annie
    January 30, 2007

    What fun to be so free–“Just paint”…following that true and basic longing in us that makes us paint.

  6. Karen
    January 30, 2007

    Thanks, all. Wendy, The credit card is used to scrape out light areas from the dark rocks. You just have to do it by “feel” – almost like sculpting. Although there are some times I use the edge of a credit card coated in paint to “print” lines with.

  7. hfm
    January 31, 2007

    Amazing, Karen. When the page opened I saw immediately the rocks, the shapes, the volume, the intensity of all those things. Magnific. Great work!

  8. Renate
    January 31, 2007

    Wow! It’s full of energy. Great.

  9. Casey
    February 1, 2007

    It came out beautifully – I love the lone figure which really gives it drama.

  10. Anastasia
    February 1, 2007

    It looks fantastic – I love the water spray effect….you can hear the noise!

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