We had a couple of damp days (actually, it was more like being in a cloud at times) but we were determined to get out and see what could be done with the easel and brushes. The sheltered harbours of Newlyn and Mousehole seemed like a good choice as there would be scope for some colour with the fishing boats and associated paraphernalia. I actually enjoyed painting in these conditions. Despite the rain, the light was steady and the subtle greys made a nice backdrop for the notes of colour we were presented with.
This one was painted in the harbour at Newlyn (click images for larger version):


‘Boats at Newlyn’, 8x12in, oil on board

I was pleased with how this turned out. On the last couple of trips to Cornwall I didn’t feel as though I’d done Newlyn and Mousehole justice so I was determined to try and make a decent go of them this time round. It was quite a complex subject and I tried to keep all the colours and tones in harmony as best as I could. It’s busy without being cluttered and the composition seems to hold firm. Funnily enough, the big boat on the left had been moored for 2 years as it needed repairs but two thirds of the way through the painting they moved it towards the dry dock! The fisherman that told me seemed quite amused :)

The weather got a lot worse in the afternoon so I opted to buy some fresh mackerel and herring from the nearby fish shop and paint them back at the ranch. It took a while to find an interesting composition but eventually (and with the light fading fast) I settled on this arrangment on the kitchen table by the window.

‘Two mackerel and a red herring’, 8x10in, oil on board
On the next rainy day we headed to Mousehole and I managed to find a couple of spots that kept me quietly tucked away from the crowds. The first was done on a section of the harbour that sits at the bottom of the wall and makes an ideal spot to work from.
Tim working relatively undisturbed with my kit alongside


Master of all he surveys at Mousehole!
I started with a small 6x8in study to try and tune in to the colours and tones. The foreground boat was handy in providing some much needed tonal contrast since the rest of the scene was quite subdued.
‘Misty rain, Mousehole’, 6x8in, oil on board
I then decided to move down onto the sand after the tide had disappeared (as it does very quickly when it turns). I enjoyed this one, off setting the local colours of the boats and buoys against the dark sea wall. A couple of fishermen turned up to potter on their boats and add a spot of life.
‘Boats at rest, Mousehole harbour’, 8x16in, oil on board
Roy was perched nearby (you can see the yellow boat I painted in the background before the tide went out) and postioned right where buses and dustbin carts needed to reverse (hence the squeeze on the kerb). He managed to escape the traffic but not the curious onlookers!