Inspiration from Portugal!

Jenny Yu, oil painting, cascais, landscape painting

This landscape painting is based on a photo I took while on vacation in Portugal (the land of fine espresso and creamy pastéis de nata!). We visited a cozy beachfront town called Cascais (pronounced cash-caish), and there I decided I want to capture the charm of this Mediterranean suburb on canvas. The castle behind the bridge is Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães, which was first built in 1900 and features collections of paintings, furniture and jewelry. Unfortunately it was closed on the day we visited. Using Gamblin as my trusted source, I introduced a few new color and new medium to my painting:


Viridian and Cadmium Yellow Light are considered Impressionist palette, whereas Portland Warm Grey is a subtle purple-grey that I think blends well with the others. Neo Megilp allows me to paint wet-on-dry by softening the dried layer so I can apply and blend a new color on top. It works surprisingly well not to mention it improved the tonal edges! To start, I thinned out the colors and applied lots of yellow ochre and ultramarine blue for the base layer, then I added some other colors to establish the value range. I think the composition and colors lend itself to a whimsical mood.


I continue to fill in more details, mostly narrowing down the relative values of the composition, and making sure it looks consistent. The rocky sides were the most challenging, so I went back later to work out the details and smooth it out more (using Neo Megilp of course).


Now comes the fun part - painting the rippling water! I have to say it was quite therapeutic, like meditation. :)


Towards the end (see first picture), it was all about touching up, smoothing the edges, and adding a rock (no creek is complete without a rock or two). It still needs a little touch up on the pink roofs, but I'm ready to sign my name on it!!