Chalk Cliffs:‘Early Birds, Bempton I & II’
Chalk cliffs always create a spectacular coastline.
Towering vertical rock faces plunge into the sea at Bempton on the East Yorkshire coast. While not as high as those in the South, they have the distinction of being home to the largest accessible seabird colony in the UK – on the right you can see one of the viewing platforms built by the RSPB, who have a visitor centre near‑by.
The chalk cliffs on this part of the UK coast stretch for about 6 miles (10km) North from Bridlington to Filey up the coast. In the middle is Flamborough Head which I find inspiring with its coves and rock formations.
original studio oil paintings
- Large: 35.5 x 35.5 cm (14 x 14 ins)
- Small: 25.4 x 25.4 cm (10 x 10 ins)
- Medium: oil
- Ground: canvas board
There is no end of inspiration for landscape art in this area. I've enough paintings and prints ideas for several lifetimes!
You can see a hazy Flamborough Head in the distance in the painting and the arch in the foreground I believe is called Scale Nab. It's about the only feature in otherwise sheer straight cliffs. Altogether this part of the UK coast is highly picturesque.
How I made these coast paintings
I've painted two paintings of this scene. First a small one in order to solve the play of tones in the artwork which was challenging. Once satisfied I had solved the problem of light cliffs in deep shadow, I painted the larger painting. They are effectively the same painting at two different sizes, though they do differ because they're hand painted. I've also added more birds to the larger artwork. I visited the nature reserve a bit too early to see many birds. The colony was just beginning to fill-up, so the title to these paintings reflects this.
It was a beautiful warm day, with light bouncing off a calm vivid sea, hardly any breeze and a thick bright haze to the distance.
I'm still scanning-in the larger painting, which I will add here for comparison. This means the painting you can see here is the small version
I also have a lino print inspired by this location.