Awakening - Original Oil Painting of the Beach at Dawn - Morning Seascape at Crystal Cove State Beach - California Beach Painting

"Awakening" | 12" x 24" | Oil on stretched canvas.
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©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This painting was also created during the Laguna Plein Air Invitational.

To capture the silvery morning light on along the beach I was up before dawn and had my easel set up at first light. This stretch of beach is located in Crystal Cove State Beach near the historic district. I loved the soft colors on the wet sand and in the water. It's something that disappears very quickly as the sun climbs higher in the sky. 

For this painting I worked on stretched canvas which, I normally don't do in the field but, it was what I had and I knew I wanted to work on larger paintings at this event. 

There are a couple of problems working on stretched canvas on location. One, is that light filters through the back of the canvas which, makes getting the right values a real pain. I solve that problem by taping cardboard to the wooden stretcher bars on the back. Also, larger canvases don't fit into standard panel carriers. This can be a real issue when painting on any Southern California beach because I have to carefully carry the larger wet painting back to my car along with all my painting gear and often it's a very long walk (usually uphill too). High winds make transporting a wet painting safely to the car a true test of endurance and agility. Thankfully, this one made it into a frame undamaged.