Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A rocky weekend


I hate to follow hot on the heels of Vivien's post on rocks, but they were squarely in my world all weekend.

Flatrock is named for - well - its flat rocks. they stretch like building blocks out into the sea with a beach of sorts of huge slabs of glacier-smoothed rock. Early on Sunday morning I got up before sunrise to catch the light on the ocean and take some photos and do a little sketching.

I wanted to get a sense of the layers of rocks and how they are formed. This will be a build up to a major drawing in detail of a section of these rock formations. I think that pencil will allow me to create the detail that I want in this piece and its availability for closer inspection is ever present.

On Sunday, I hiked the Manuels River trail downstream and found out that the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland was once a section of Africa - albeit 200 million years ago. This river trail is beautiful and the shallow pools are a magnet for young families and children to paddle in. Further down the trail the shallow river is littered with boulders as if a giant hand scattered them there - a paradise for geologists.

11 comments:

Maree said...

Beautifully done Jeanette, and very expressive.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Wow - what impressive rocks Jeanette!

I also love your geology!

I'm just wondering whether you might need to work a bit more on the values? Or has the camera distorted them?

Jeanette said...

Thanks Maree. Its my prelude to something bigger and better.

Aren't they amazing Katherine? The geology of this place is very unique.

The values for this sketch look fine to me, and it is a sketch not a finished piece. As you have mentioned this several times I wonder if its your monitor that sees it lacking or if others do as well.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Possible - but I do seem to see value problems more with your work which makes me think maybe's it the digital conversion at your end (as opposed to the actual painting).

I can more I can be more specific about what I can see.
- The light value of the white surf is not quite as light as I think it needs to be. That's always difficult when working with watercolour.
- when I squint at your photo, the layers of rock all have a left side (catching highlights from the sun)and a right side (much more muted and subdued and close in tones across each layer). I don't see that left/right aspect in your painting to the same extent.

Now given the photo's predisposition to distort shadows and the problems with getting a colour corrected image of the painting, my bet is that at least some of this is down to the technology!!

Jeanette said...

Perhaps its a bit of both Katherine. I haven't the time or patience to sit twiddling with settings on Photoshop to get an image to perfection.

I did this as a 20 minute sketch sitting on the beach on Sunday morning with dawn light changing. The photo I took for reference if I wanted to go further back in the studio.

I understand what you're saying however the values are as good as they'll get in these circumstances. I wasn't trying for perfection, just capturing a moment.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

In which case can i say that for a 20 minute sketch it's splendid! :)

Lindsay said...

I'm feeling a bit envious of your access to all this rock! I have to drive about a hour before I get to any decent rock formations around here. PLUS, you have the ocean with the rocks! Great challange and I'd love to see your full scale drawing of the sketch!

Charlene Brown said...

I love nice angular rocks like this, with strong flat(ish) planes. Ironically, the rocks I will send in to your challenge are quite the opposite.
Speaking of your rock challenge, you never mentioned that the whole of Newfoundland is often referred to as The Rock -- I had considered sending a picture of the the houses on Signal hill with an iceberg in the background as my 'Rock' entry and was reminded of that when I saw your wonderful wedding picture of the walk up the street.

Jeanette said...

Like everywhere Lindsay, we take our surroundings for granted to a large extent. Exploring them in detail brings them into sharp focus for me and let's me see what is really there. The ocean, yes a very nice bonus. :)

You're right Charlene, Newfoundland is called 'The Rock' and for good reason too if you ever watch foundations being laid for houses or tried gardening here!

Yes, houses clinging to rock faces are common here but impressive.

vivien said...

what gorgeous colours in those rocks - and 20 minute sketch of it? lovely!

It would abstract beautifully too

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Beautiful sketch Jeanette! I'm amazed to read theat it was part of Africa once..wonder how it will ook in anoter few thousand years!
a wonderful area you have for rock studying, you have just about evry shape and textrue there
ronelle