Saturday, 2 September 2017

On the Pier of Hoek van Holland - looking towards England

When I am on the Pier of Hoek van Holland, I do not only look towards the seashore. The Pier is really a long way into the North Sea and at the end of it is a radar post with a helicopter platform which is the only one in The Netherlands (maybe even in the world).
On the left side of the Pier is the canal through which the Port of Rotterdam can be reached, on the right side there are some of the basalt blocks that protect the beach. When I am at this spot I have walked further towards the end of the Pier compared to the spot where I made the sketch for my previous watercolour painting.

For this sketch I really had to imagine the Pier without all the tourists and fishers.
The radar post is the one on the right side of the Pier, on the left side is a light beacon. They both seem to be on the horizon, but the beacon is much closer to the point from where I am sketching.
The waves do often fall over the edges of the Pier, leaving dark wet marks on the concrete. 
We were here on a Sunday, so there was some traffic at sea, but not as much as would have been on a weekday. I have suggested only one ship at the horizon. Sometimes even that one ship was not to be seen that day.
The previous painting had a lot of clouds in the sky, but half an hour later those were all gone. There was a strong wind that day, I really could not have painted on the spot if I wanted to do that.

After I got home I looked at my sketch and thought 'Why did I do that?' because it was not a very detailed sketch, a few pencil lines and notes about the colours on white paper. 
I decided to paint the scene and make the best of it. Using the right colours for the basalt blocks, the light beacon and of course the sea would bring back the scene that inspired me to make that sketch - I hoped. And that is exactly what happened.

More information about this watercolour painting (size, paper and paint used, etc) can be found at my website 

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