View Full Version : WIP - Sandcastles at Sunset

05-14-2003, 01:50 AM
Hope you don't mind me doing another WIP - but getting your feedback as I build a painting is valuable learning input for me! Please don't feel that you have to watch if you're getting bored by another seaside WIP!!

That said, all comments AND critiques are welcome!

Stathmore 140# cp block, 15"x18", Winsor & Newton and Holbein paints.


The buildings and people have been lightly painted in and then masqued. The waves have been roughed in around the rocks with FUB and Winsor Violet, and the sky has a light wash of Winsor Lemon.

Gonna be another long sunny day!:cool:

05-14-2003, 03:11 AM
Got my towel and my picnic hamper at the ready, settling in for the day :D

(Why would we mind watching your WIP? The last one was so much fun and informative too!!!! :D )


05-14-2003, 03:22 AM
Ooooooh, we're at the beach again.....I have my lotion and a heavy blanket just in case that sky changes on me again! LOL!

05-14-2003, 06:12 AM
Bring on the sun lotion! and an umbrella! I'm settling in for another wonderful WIP w/Nandie:D

05-14-2003, 06:15 AM
Tea in hand ... looking very forward to more... I love your lighthouse already!

05-14-2003, 08:04 AM
Lotions and sunblocks are for girls!

I have some swordfish steaks, charcoal and a cheeky little pinot ready to serve.

Great composition and sketch. Look forward to progress!

05-14-2003, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by matingara
Lotions and sunblocks are for girls!

Are you saying guys don't sunburn or just being macho?...LOL Good one Matingera :cat:

Nandie, going to be another fun painting to watch evolve :D *

*Pulls up beach chair with iced Mocha and settles in....*

Little Old Lady
05-14-2003, 08:37 AM
Joining the crowd on the beach.

05-14-2003, 08:44 AM
Gatecrashing Joels party - swordfish and wine sounds great to me! :D ;)


05-14-2003, 10:28 AM
As a newbie here who spent some time lurking, I really enjoy the WIPs done - helps me learn and see differently. Will look forward to seeing the progress on this one. And the beach sounds good for today!

05-14-2003, 10:40 AM
I know I'm late, but I brought my own chair... and a hamper filled with fried chicken and chocolate cake, iced tea and lemonaide...

Lovin it so far Nandie!

05-14-2003, 12:03 PM
LOL you guys are crazy but I like you anyway!!:rolleyes: :D

So Ruth, watcha got in the hamper? Gonna share?

Nitsa, glad you're thinking ahead.... these WIPs tend to take a whole day so you KNOW the sun's going to be going down by the time I'm done!!

Artmom, had some of that sunscreen over to Matingara.... he's too macho to bring his own but he's gonna get fried like a lobster!:p

Fun2cook, Ruth & JoAnn, glad you're here!

Annetta.... iced mocha??? From Starbucks??? Did you bring me one too????

Rhonda, welcome!!! Glad to have you here in our little beach party!!! I'll try to explain things as I go along, and please remember that I'm also learning as I go so you may just witness me making a huge mess.....:p

Char!! Old buddy!! Old friend!! **looks longingly at fried chicken and chocolate cake**

Oh bother.... all this food.... will I EVER get any painting done today???!!!

:D :D

05-14-2003, 12:19 PM
Rock 'n' Roll......


The rocks were painted in with payne's grey and the texture was scrapped in with a credit card just as the sheen was starting to disappear. This is sometimes tricky business. I've discovered you can't just paint a large area and then hope to scrape it all because the "window of opportunity" is really short. Once that shine completely disappears it's too late. It's best to do small areas, painting & scraping rather than large ones. The good news is.... if you wait too long and the scraping doesn't work, you can re-wet the area, either with plain water or a little more paint, and scrape again.

The water was strengthened with a little more FUB and Winsor Violet, with sea spray areas left white (no masquing). Another light, diluted glaze of Raw Sienna and New Gamboge was applied to the sky. You can see where I've left a light area to the right where the sun will be. I do this by wetting a circular area with plain water and painting around the perimiter with my glaze - that way you get a soft graduation of color.

Brrr..... it's a rather cold day, isn't it?? Throw on a blanket or something until that sun gets a bit stronger!!!

05-14-2003, 12:35 PM
I'm joining CharM for the cake.......lol and love sitting on the beach.......

(now where did I put that surfboard??????)

05-14-2003, 01:30 PM
not to be a pain or anything, but i hope you are planning to soften the edges of the rocks before your done. comming along great!! love the scraping effect. will have to work on that one.


05-14-2003, 01:55 PM
Nandie, really nice WIP so far. Wish I were at the beach with ya'all instead of cooped up here in the office. Those rocks look great, ouch my tootsies, have walked over rocks just like them here on the Pacific coast.

Your explanations are very helpful to us newbies. Keep em coming.

I'll take choc. cake and fried chicken (all low cal of course) :D :D

05-14-2003, 02:46 PM
Like Bethany said soften the top of the rocks a bit ... in order to create depth. Good luck !

05-14-2003, 02:52 PM
Howdy, Gang! (she says pulling up a lawn chair). I thought I'd join in the fun with Nandie!

Looking great thus far!


05-14-2003, 02:54 PM
I know I'm late, but I brought my own chair... and a hamper filled with fried chicken and chocolate cake, iced tea and lemonaide...
*sits next to Char* :D

The water was strengthened with a little more FUB and Winsor Violet, with sea spray areas left white (no masquing).
No masking??????????????OMG!!!!!!!!!!!....Brilliant whites Nands! :clap:

05-14-2003, 03:07 PM
No masking??????????????OMG!!!!!!!!!!!....Brilliant whites Nands!

(in a hushed golf commentator's voice)...Ladies and gentlemen, Nandie is working without a net....

05-14-2003, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by vestalqueen

(in a hushed golf commentator's voice)...Ladies and gentlemen, Nandie is working without a net....

LOL.... and not because I know what I'm doing.... it's just because I'm crazy!!! But do not fear - if I manage to muddy my whites, I HAVE GAUACHE AND I KNOW HOW TO USE IT!!!:D :D

Bethany & Gilberte, thanks for the heads up about the rocks. They are not done yet, but I will remember to soften some of those edges at the end!

Thanks everybody for looking in, here's the next step:


Raw Sienna was glazed on in several uneven layers and misted with plain water to give both soft & hard edges and eliminate brush strokes. Most of these glazes did not go into the light "sun" area, but a few brush strokes went directly across that area to give the effect of clouds in front of the sun. Doing this seems to really make the sun "glow" as the white areas peek through.

After the sienna glazes were thoroughly dried the FUB & Winsor Violet were applied in the same fashion to the perimiter of the sky area. The same colors were used on the water, again trying to preserve those white areas of ocean spray.

The two figures playing in the sand are bugging me... they don't really look like children and their heads are all wrong in proportion to their bodies. Hopefully when I remove the masking later I can fix them.

05-14-2003, 05:32 PM

ROFL!...I must get me some of that! ;)

05-14-2003, 05:54 PM
excellant Andrea a groupies day out, all this talk about rocks , I will sit on them with some Burbon please!!. great watching this take shape .:clap:

05-14-2003, 07:00 PM
This is coming along nicely. CharM, this is great cake. Is that Amaretto I taste?


05-14-2003, 09:55 PM
Love watching this come together. What a glorious sky! Time to go inside but will be out at the beach again tomorrow to see your progress!
I want a bumper sticker that says: I have gouache and I know how to use it! LOL

05-14-2003, 09:56 PM
Hey I smell chicken !? Andy, I'll take some of that Bourbon but I'm not going near those rocks .
Great painting Nandie. Sorry I'm late but............

05-14-2003, 10:03 PM
Very interesting WIP - and entertaining to boot! Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Strawberry Wine
05-14-2003, 10:23 PM
Hi Andrea; Gone for the day and I see you have started a beach party without me. HMPH!!!!! Hands on becoming massive hips.

Never the less, I am here now. and would reallly like some of that Pinot Noir, please Joel. I have set up the tent and intend to hang about for the duration.

AKA (all kidding aside), Andrea, this is going to be another stunning painting. Looking forward to the next addition and i am looking forward to the painting's bedtime story at the end..

:) :) :)


05-14-2003, 10:53 PM
Thanks for stopping by, everybody!! It's so nice to have company when I'm painting!

Nitsa & Rhonda..... lol..... glad you like my new slogan - Gouache has saved my whites more than once!! (I've REALLY gotta get me a masque pen!)

Andy, glad you've joined the party.... but don't sit on the rocks - I hear they are sharp!:eek: :o

jti, hand over some of Char's Ammaretto Chocolate cake please!

Karen, glad you're here!

Jim & Gail, don't worry about arriving late, this party's still going strong.

Now, as for that bedtime story..... I'm hoping one will evolve with the painting.;)

05-14-2003, 11:34 PM
I daresay you skies are becoming legend!!! This is beautiful!!!

... and I'm sorry the choco cake was eaten by everyone else... never fear, though, I always have a backup... There is a beautiful rum cake hiding at the bottom of the hamper... I brought some cheese and grapes just in case...

I do need a nap though... So, if you insist on eating, please clean up your crumbs!!!

05-15-2003, 01:27 AM
just thinking about this makes me feel like I have sand in my shorts!

Oh well thats the price of a wonderful setting right?

Great beginning!


05-15-2003, 08:51 AM
Nandie, it has the look of a Japanese print right now. I know it will change in look as you work on it, but it has been eye-candy through each step so far. The sun it up and I'm getting ready for the beach again today (put on lots of sunscreen so I'm not burned at all).

Crystal Owl
05-15-2003, 09:42 AM
Looking great so far Nandie :) .

I can't believe noone thought to bring the margaritas!! :D

Has lawnchair , umbrella, and Margarita's in hand....


05-15-2003, 02:13 PM
Char, I love chocolate rum cake.... so glad you saved the best for me!!:D

Norsky.... sand in your shorts??? Wouldn't happen if you wore briefs instead of boxers!!!:o :evil: :D

Rhonda & Irene, enjoy those margaritas.... but behave yourselves okay?:cool:

Since we're on the second page, here's a recap before I go any further:


And here's what it looks like now that the sun is beginning to set and everything is becoming a little darker.


As you can see, the rocks have been darkened considerably, which unfortunately means that some of that nice texture is gone.... but that's the way it goes in real life when it gets darker anyway. I still have to soften those edges up a bit.

I added more FUB & Winsor Violet to the sky to bring out the drama a little more, and the water was darkened some more with the same colors. (Still managing to keep my whites white!!)

I'm not happy with all the choppy waves on the left hand side, I think I'll smooth out some of the back ones a bit - and I still have to work on the light house, the kids and the beach.

Lady Carol
05-15-2003, 02:54 PM
I worry that they are going to be washed out the sea by that huge wave.

Good job incidentally.

05-15-2003, 02:55 PM
Oh, my! This is stunning - but I will wait patiently while you finish, Margarita in hand :)

05-15-2003, 03:02 PM
Andrea, Sorry I'm late arriving to your beach party. Love those purples! Another beauty! Are those your children playing on the beach?


05-15-2003, 06:23 PM
Hi Carol, yes the waves are big but that large rock makes for an effective breaktide, don't you think?

Thanks Rhonda.... how many margaritas have you had, anyway?:evil: :D

Roberta, no I have 3 boys so those aren't my children, although they live in my imagination so I suppose they are mine!:cool:

05-15-2003, 07:02 PM
I think I'll have to get out the Gouache after all.... My rocks are just too dark & foreboding-looking and I can't scrape out more hightlights.:crying: I think I'll use some for sea-spray too.

Hopefully the next installment will be the last, and will have a bed-time story too! :)

05-15-2003, 07:10 PM

It's looking good.

You must have some brave souls in your neck of the woods to sit on a beach with such big breaker so close :D :D


05-15-2003, 07:15 PM
Originally posted by manwat
You must have some brave souls in your neck of the woods to sit on a beach with such big breaker so close :D :D


You betcha!!!! Us west coastal B.C.'ers are a tough bunch!!! LOL!:D Plus, if you ever look at Alan Cross's skies, you know that we seldom have ideal weather for boating or beachcombing, so we just do it regardless!

05-15-2003, 07:22 PM
Nandie, it's good that you're getting close to the end... darn ants got into my hamper and the mosquitoes are beginning to bite... But, I've put my sweater on and I'm watching...

I love the drama of the deep colours! You have really done well with these seascapes!

05-15-2003, 07:23 PM
GOUACHE!!!! running and kicking sand in the margeuritas!!!!

05-15-2003, 07:24 PM
Why, I've only had 3...or 4...but hey, who's counting? It's thirsty work walking the beach, waiting for an artist to create a masterpiece!:D

05-15-2003, 09:53 PM
Char.... lol.... you've probably had too many margaritas anyway!!! Rhonda, you too! Somebody run to Starbucks and bring us all some hot latte's now that it's getting cooler out (and some of us need to sober up:evil: )

Now if you kiddies will simmer down I might tell you a story!


05-15-2003, 11:19 PM
**taking a sip of my nice hot latte**

"Sarah pushed her toes into the damp sand and sighed. She felt the cool water licking at her feet as she sat on the edge of the incoming tide and knew in a few minutes she would have to move before she got wet. She rested her folded arms on her knees and sighed again. As she concentrated on the late afternoon sun rays warming her skin she tried to block out the sounds of the crowd enjoying the sandcastle competition just up the beach from where she and her mother were spending the afternoon. She knew there must be some amazing sculptures from the day-long contest but she wasn't going. She'd never go. "Dumb sandcastles" she muttered quietly, brushing a hot tear from her face. "What good are they anyway? You make them and then the tide comes in and washes them all away". Taking some bitter satisfaction in her assessment of the situation, she shoved her toes even deeper into the sand as if to punctuate the thought.

Suddenly her cloudy thoughts were interrupted by the sound of her mother's voice, chatting animatedly to another woman, whose voice she didn't recognize. She didn't bother to turn around... they were talking about the sculptures anyway, and she didn't want to hear. Her mother suddenly lowered her voice, but she still heard "......can't go and see them" before the sound of the wind and waves drowned out the voices. She was just about to get up and move away when a voice at her side startled her. "Hello. I'm Ryan. You must be Sarah.... your mom told me to come over and say hi while she talks to my mom."

"Hi" Sarah said noncommittaly and continued to gaze out at the ocean. She could hear seagulls calling in the distance and wished she could go with them. Ryan looked at her quizzicaly and tried again. "I just came from the sandcastle competition! I was in it, but didn't win anything. The judges said that my sculpture was really good for the 12-and-under category and I should keep trying. Did you go? I didn't see you there!"

Sarah continued to gaze out at the ocean and tried to look bored although the quiver in her lip threatened to betray her. "No." She said deliberately. "I did not go. I do not care for sandcastles". Sarah fell quiet and Ryan looked at her, feeling a little put-out. He judged her to be about 10 or 11 and she was kind of cute with her messy blond curls and freckles, but she didn't smile or look at him. He looked back at his mom, hoping she was ready to go soon, but she was still deep in conversation with Sarah's mother. Ryan decided he'd try to be friendly just one more time and if this dumb girl continued to be a snob he'd go back and sit with his mother and suffer through their "women talk". Yeesh.

"Nice day," he ventured. "Yes" Sarah answered, "It's been hot too. I think I have a bit of sunburn on my nose" she reached up and felt the tip, which was hot and dry. "Let me see" Ryan leaned over for a better look. "Yup. You're burnt! Lobster beak!" Sarah slapped her hand across her face and glared in his direction "You're aweful!!! What did you call me!"
"Aw, c'mon!" Ryan blustered, "You're way to serious! Lighten up a little! Okay, you're not a lobster beak, alright? You're a... a.... beacon. That's it. Like Rudolph. Like that lighthouse over there. Yeah. You'll show lost people where to go when it's...."
"What did you say??"
Oh brother, Ryan groaned inwardly, this wasn't going well at all. "Oh, sorry. I was just trying to..."
"No no!!! Not that.... what did you say about a lighthouse?"
Now Ryan was really confused. "Yeah.... the light house... so what?"
"What lighthouse?" Sarah looked at him now, with clear blue eyes that seemed to look right through him. "That one!" Exasperated, Ryan pointed at the large white structure just across the bay. Sarah didn't follow his gesture but continued to look at him. "Where? Here?"
"Um, yeah...... it's been right in front of you all day....I don't know how you could miss it unless you're blind!" He said.

"I am." Sarah replied, and fell quiet.

Ryan was stunned....he stared at Sarah in shock, wondering if she was joking. But as he peered closely at her he could see she wasn't..... and suddenly things began to make sense. Like why she was feeling grumpy about the sandcastle competition up the beach. He'd feel that way too if he couldn't see!

"Oh." He said.... suddenly looking at his surroundings with new appreciation. He looked back at her, at her clear, sightless eyes and didn't know what else to say. Sarah must have sensed his discomfort because she brightened suddenly and said, "It's okay, I'm getting used to it. I could see when I was small, but lost my sight about 3 years ago. I remember colors and everything and what Mom & Dad look like and stuff. But it bugs me when there's something exciting to look at and I can't. That's why I'm not too excited about your sandcastles, sorry. But tell me about this light house. What's it like?"
Ryan started to describe the tall structure, but soon found himself lacking for words, not knowing how to explain it to someone who couldn't see it. "I know!" He said suddenly, "I'll sculpt you one!" Sarah's face fell. "What good will that do? I won't be able to see it either!" "Sure you can.... you can see it with your hands. You can feel it!" Sarah brightened and looked excited. "Can I help?" "Sure, I'll teach you!"
Sarah laughed, "We'd better move up the beach first, my bum is getting wet with the tide coming in!" Ryan laughed too and gave her a hand up.

And so, across the bay, the sun quietly began to slip away, bidding farewell with long golden arms that embraced the heavens one last time before melting into the deepening sky. And a tall, silent light house stood vigil over two happy children, building lighthouses out of sand and planning for next year's sandcastle competition, which they'd enter together."


05-15-2003, 11:35 PM



Yes, I had to get out the Gouache. The seaspray just wasn't working for me, it needed some "oomph"! I managed to soften some of those rocky edges, please let me know if I should do more softening.

Also I'm not sure if the rock reflections on the wet sand are too dark or not??:confused:

05-15-2003, 11:50 PM

What a lovely story. It adds such weight and drama to your piece. Congratulations on some excellent artistic craftmanship.

I know I am probably a bit of a softy - but I had tears in the corners of my eyes as I read this. It reminded me of all those wonderful years of reading stories to my daughter (Amelia - now 17) at bedtime. We would spend at least half an hour together every night and every memory of them is precious.

So, back to work. Start sketching the entire book. You have the full story there. It just needs some rouding out. I expect big things from you.



05-16-2003, 12:12 AM
Wow! A writer as well as an artist. I really enjoyed your story, and the painting is lovely. You should definitely do it as a children's book. I arrived at your beach party late, but that's okay, cuz my doc doesn't allow me margaritas, caffeine, fried chicken or chocolate cake. On the other hand, since they are only cyber-food, maybe I'll have a little taste if there's any left.


05-16-2003, 04:58 AM
Nandie, what a storyteller and artist you are! Here I am at 4:45 am, wiping tears from my eyes. Sometimes, all of us need to be lead to see the beauty around us. Thank you.:angel:

05-16-2003, 05:42 AM
What a nice WIP extremely good to watch this come together--------well done-----------Alan

05-16-2003, 05:45 AM

Beautiful painting and a wonderful story to go with it, perfect lesson for little children!!!!!! Continue to write stories for each painting and you can put together a compilation to take to a publisher! (completely serious, please think about it!)


05-16-2003, 05:59 AM
OMG! Andrea......What did you to me?..I'm sobbing like a baby here!
Beautiful painting, made all the more beautiful with the story I now have embedded in my tears!


05-16-2003, 06:22 AM
:crying: :o glad Im not the only one with tears in my eyes ......... delightful and touching story and ditto painting.........thanks for referencing it in the wash or I might have missed it altogether like I missed the beach party :D

Do as the others say, more stories, more pictures and then a publisher.............. you have talent..... but then we all know that :D

05-16-2003, 08:04 AM
Ok Nandie... now you've done it!!! I want you to know that I'm called the "Dragon Lady" at work because I'm so hard and tough and mean... If they only knew... I'm sitting here bawling over a story!!!! Fabulous story to accompany a fabulous painting!!... wiping a tear...

05-16-2003, 08:11 AM
Looking good Nandie

there some mighty big waves there.

great spot for surfing.

05-16-2003, 09:32 AM
love it love it love it...but then I love all your paintings. And the story. Big crybaby here, too. You are wonderful.

:clap: :clap:

and here's your cuppa...


Nice work! (as usual);)


05-16-2003, 11:15 AM
Nandie, I would encourage you to write more stories and paint more pictures to go with them. Send them to some publishers and see what happens. I think you will do well with them. How many authors can do their own illustrations ??

05-16-2003, 11:38 AM
Nandie, thank you for allowing me to take this journey with you. I'm wiping away the tear, thinking about your talent in painting and in writing and agree with everyone else - get a book done! You have the story - you can fill out the pages. This is such a touching story. And your painting will mean more to me now that I have that story hidden away in my heart. What a wonderful gift you've given us!

05-16-2003, 12:23 PM
NANDIE!!...you have a career sitting right in front of you....more than a career, a calling....beautiful stories with beautiful paintings by the author!!!..


Emilie:clap: :clap: :clap:

Alan Cross
05-16-2003, 12:48 PM
Andrea OK you got me with that one yes I am a softie and yes I had a tear in my eye for the little girl.....I liked the painting but I loved the story!
Alan :)

05-16-2003, 12:52 PM
:crying: at here at work....lol. What a beautiful story and painting. nuff sed :clap: :clap:

05-16-2003, 01:59 PM
Okay, now you guys have got ME all choked up!!! LOL!! Thanks so much for the words of support! Do you really think I have what it takes to do this?? I do have other stories in my head that I've thought of illustrating, but I've never seriously entertained the idea of publishing them. Also I have no idea how to go about approaching a publisher.... anybody know how that's done?

Thanks so much for the overwhelmingly positive feedback - you guys are wonderfully supportive.:)

05-16-2003, 02:01 PM
Um, Nandie. Do you REALLY think this many of us would just be trying to be nice (she asks while wiping her nose on her sleeve)?

You have many gifts. Share them.


05-16-2003, 02:15 PM
** passing a box of kleenex around **

Well, Erin, you guys ARE all awfully nice people!!!!! Every one of you.... I just thought I was the only one that cried when I wrote the story, because I'm the emotional type... lol!!

Thank you!

05-16-2003, 02:40 PM
....commercials make me cry for heaven sakes!! how embarassing is that!! LOL :p :p Your story wasn't just a 'kleenex' cry, it was a 'paper towel - honk nose while blowing' cry....

05-16-2003, 04:47 PM
Nandie, I don't know anything about it - but if it was me and I had your talent, I'd first go to a bookstore and look at the children's books that caught my eye - the ones I liked. Then I would find the address of the publisher in there and try to contact them with questions about what they want from an artist/writer. I'm sure someone out here has had experience with it. If you have other stories like this in your head, it would be a shame not to try it! And if each one of us bought 1 or 2 books - there you go!

05-16-2003, 05:39 PM
absoluty blubberly Andrea, when your rich and famous (scratch Famous) you've done that bit.!(Known world wide)...Please remember I was your 1st Groupie!!!!:D :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

05-16-2003, 11:22 PM
**hands a roll of industrial-strength paper towels to Annetta**

Thanks you guys:o :o I dont' know what to say... I'll just keep painting and writing and see what happens!:eek: :)