‘Seascapes in Acrylics’ 
Mark Warner


On Tuesday, November 17th, 30 of us logged into Zoom to watch Mark create an acrylic seascape on Daler-Rowney 160gsm pastel paper – a new concept for many of us. Mark lives up in Shropshire and was brought up in Wales where he also studied and he showed us other paintings of the Carmarthenshire coast and countryside.

Example of Mark’s use of bold colour and line detail

He likes working with a dry brush and mixes pure colour on disposable paper palettes. He works with quick, often rough or squiggly strokes in a loose energetic style and will work into a dry painting with black Conte crayon to bring out shapes – always looking to create planes of colour and tone and sometimes printing a monotone copy to find areas of contrast. He chooses a dominant colour for his work, blending other colours into this main colour to give the painting coherence.

Setting the horizon with frog tape

Today his paper and main colour were Cerulean Blue. Firstly he stretched frog tape across the horizon, sticking down the top edge only, and then scrubbed in a blue sky, building up lighter cloud areas. Removing the tape, he mixed Cobalt Turquoise and Cobalt Light for the sea area adding cerulean in layers.

Establishing the darker part of the distant sea
Creating shapes and composition

For the foreground rocks, without washing the previous blues from his brush, he got a dark mix from Prussian Blue and Cadmium Orange, then roughly sketched in rock shapes with Orange and Turquoise, adding Burnt Umber and more of the blues before using a clean brush to wash Naples Yellow across the sandy foreshore. A combination of Cadmium Red and Prussian Blue laid down rusty blue-purple shadows on the rocks and seaweed.

Cloud reflections in the foreground water

After the break, he moved to thinner riggers to add more details, rolling his brush to bring more definition to the clouds and wave shapes.

Wave detail with a rigger and pale blue mix
Comparison with reference photograph

He was not afraid to add streaks of vivid reds and oranges as highlights for, as he said “Don’t be afraid to experiment. If it doesn’t work, it can always be painted out!” It was a really enjoyable afternoon sitting watching with every brush stroke right in front of you and it was great seeing friends’ smiling faces after such a long time.

Moya Paul
LRAS Publicity

Mark Warner – the finished painting