Malibu morning

“Malibu Morning” 9 x 12 watercolor on paper

This morning I had a reason to be in Malibu while my husband was taking care of some business nearby. The sky was clear and a light breeze was blowing on a picture-perfect day. After taking a brisk walk up and down the shore a few times, I settled to paint this view in my Raffine sketchbook, en plein air. It might become the basis for a larger oil painting back in the studio. I used a large Niji waterbrush for everything but the sky, which was added with a wash brush when I got home. The slight discoloration in the sky is from the unevenness of my journal on the flatbed scanner. In fact it’s a nice even thalo blue all the way across.

The location of this watercolor is about a quarter mile north of Gladstone’s – along Pacific Coast Highway. The headlands in the distance is close to where Topanga Canyon comes out to the coast, I think.


  1. TeriC
    May 3, 2007

    Karen, this is just gorgeous and so oceanie. I am on my daughter’s internet so am finally able to say how absolutely gorgeous your rose is and the other flowers also.

  2. Creekhiker
    May 3, 2007

    Karen, This is so lovely. What a fun morning you had! I know this spot well and you captured it very well. I mentioned you to the incoming president of the ST Art Assoc… Maybe we could get you on our demo calendar next year??? Holly

  3. Casey
    May 3, 2007

    Ah, this is perfect just the way it is. You’ve really captured the beach feeling.

  4. Felicity
    May 3, 2007

    Oh, I’m adding this to my list of faves – I love it! It’s so light and loose but perfectly captures that unique beach light and atmosphere. The sky is amazing!

  5. carole
    May 4, 2007

    This is lovely. You must have had a nice morning painting it. I am so impressed with the way you use colours to block in areas, and leave others blank so that the eye fills in things like roads, and the area of sand that the light catches most. I don’t have the discipline to leave areas blank like this.

  6. wendy
    May 4, 2007

    You have such rich resources for painting in the place where you live! A lovely scene and I like the use of white and brown. No fake yellow beach. I tend too much to use brighter colours than what is there – it’s because I lived in the tropics a long time perhaps, but also the scanner alters the real colours quite often.

  7. Kate (Cathy) Johnson
    May 4, 2007

    Makes me wish I were there, Miss Karen! It’s beautiful…perfect sense of motion in the waves…

  8. margaret hunt
    May 4, 2007

    VEry nice…wish we were all sitting on a chair at the beach painting with you…lovely job as usual

  9. Serena
    May 5, 2007

    It’s beautiful, Karen!! :)

  10. Hashi
    May 6, 2007

    I really like the clean, bright, fresh, morning feel to this. It makes me draw in my breath, remembering morning beach visits.

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