‘Seascape in Watercolour’ 
Richard Thorn


Richard Thorn created a Cornish seascape using inks and watercolours last Tuesday, giving us a chance to appreciate every brush stroke and each “happy accident”.

Source photo – Trevone, Cornwall

Using a photograph as his basic “map”, Richard had drawn in the main elements of the scene in pencil with details penned in black ink and with a layer of graphite pencil adding texture. As the work progressed to watercolour paints, he detailed each colour mix so we knew he used a watery mix of Royal Blue with Cobalt Blue for the sky and the same-with additional Phalo Turquoise- for the Cornish sea. A pale wash over the foam was to be whitened later with white ink.

Ink base

Thinned Naples Yellow mixed with warm grey put colour onto the rocks, letting the underlying ink bleed into pools of shadow.

Cobalt Blue & Naples Yellow

The work progressed in layers of these transparent colours, each one darkening the area whilst allowing the original pencil and underpaintings to shine through. The strongest areas of contrast came with grassy areas painted with a bright mix of Raw Sienna and Cob Green with a dash of red.


Greys added further details and highlights brought sparkle to the scene. Richard even brought in watercolour pencils for very fine detail whilst white paint laid in the lines of breaking surf. He scratched finer details into the grassy areas and brought back his calligraphy pen and blue- black ink for a final flourish.

Adding the detail

The result was a beautifully fresh bright Cornish seascape and an excellent teaching experience. We are very grateful to Richard for taking on the Zoom challenge and for giving us such a rewarding afternoon.

Moya Paul
LRAS Publicity

Richard Thorn – finished painting – “Trevone Surf”