My Paintings on our Wall, April 25 2020 “Pt. Lobos”

Hi, Welcome back to my series discussing how and why I painted some of the paintings hanging on the walls of our home. The third in the series, todays painting is from 1999 and is titled simply enough “Pt Lobos” It could also be titled “Pt Lobos prior to California” .

In the 1990s I primarily painted with watercolors, learning color theories and the nuances of the medium primarily on Arches blocks 14 x 20. Until then my ArtistEye outlet was through my photography: developing Black and White at home, processing slides, and printing with a color enlarger. In 1996 I jumped into oils and used my photo images as a resource.

Pt Lobos has always been an inspiration to me. I followed and marveled at Ansel Adams’ photo images and also of the paintings by the early California Impressionists. Over the years trips to Pt Lobos have been many, enjoying hiking, sketching, painting and photography, even some snorkeling in Whalers Cove in the seventies.

This painting is from one of my photographs and is a view from Whalers Cove toward the Carmelite Monastery on the far hillside. If you look closely you will not see the Monastery! As the painting progressed I decided to leave it out. I liked the idea that this could be a view from hundreds of years before Europeans were in California.

As this was one of my earlier oils, I tried to paint as realistically as I could but added an Impressionistic flare, mostly in the water surface and nearby cliffs. Layer after layer, I think it took about 40 hours to complete. I would paint for 4-5 hours, let the paint dry for a week and then using retouch varnish and paint medium I would add the next layer. I used a simple landscape color palette of alizarin crimson, yellow ochre, thalo and cobalt blue, thalo green, burnt umber, burnt sienna and titanium white. A fun discovery was to mix lavenders for the shadows of the foliage and use it to add atmospheric perspective to the distant hills .

“Point Lobos” Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inch

Published by Al Shamble

I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I have a minor in Visual Arts from UCSD where I received my BA in Biology. I am inspired by Nature and love hiking in California's Sierra Nevada and diving beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean. I enjoy the interplay of painting Plein Air, being an outdoor photographer, and creating paintings in the studio.

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  1. Thanks, Al, it’s interesting to read the story of how the image before us came into being!

    1. Hi Kris, Thank You, its been fun thinking back and trying to make a story thats interesting. Please tell Greg hi , and let hime know Scott is now on Facebook too.

  2. Interesting, Al! Do remember these technical details or did you write them down?

    1. Hi Dan, Part of the fun for me is to just think back and look at the painting and remember what I did. Colors are easy. Harder to remember are mediums. Over time I have experimented with different oil mediums, sometimes using them, sometimes not. Was it linseed oil? or a mix of 1/3 linseed/1/3 damar medium/ 1/3 thinner etc. At the beginning it was that mix, not any more.

      1. Hi Al,
        I am glad to find you and your beautiful paintings!
        Has been a long time…that went by so fast!
        My profile on Fb has some playing guitar and singing if you have time to take a look!
        You have been doing not only a outstanding job on your paintings but the quantity that you did…e you look the same you still have many years to continue to do that!