"San Pedro Twilight, CGC Stratton"
18" X 24" Oil on Canvas
I'm really behind on posting things on the blog lately. I've been bouncing between my landscapes and Coast Guard paintings. This is another painting that I will submit later this year to the CG. This scene was painted from reference photos during my brief time aboard the cutter Stratton. On my first night with the cutter I spent my time collecting photos from various angles dockside and some on board too. I'd have plenty of time during the next 4 days to get shots while underway.
The ship is beautiful and has awesome lines and I really couldn't have asked for better light in San Pedro for the backdrop. I have spent thousands of hours down in San Pedro over the years adding to my personal reference photos of various ships and fishing boats. This past experience made it easy to get what I wanted and so far 2 of my paintings of the Stratton have have been while she was here.
One area of painting that I am not as strong as I wish is figures. There were no crew up on deck in this scene so I added them from other reference photos. I sketched them in making sure I kept them to scale and placed them in areas of the ship that I knew the crew usually hung out at. I like this angle because you can see the cranes and the big doors on the stern of the ship that open to launch the small boats. The Stratton can carry up to 3 small boats on the stern and another boat on her starboard at about midship. The small boat you see in the detail image above was being delivered by the Stratton to one of the other cutters already in Alameda. You can also see the large hydraulic rams used to launch and retireve the boats to the right of the small boat.
I'm really loving painting water and water in a harbor near a boat is my favorite type of water to paint. The outgoing tide made for some interesting lines as the water flowed past the ship. The late sky light and strong shadows of the ship make for great contrasting light and darks. Evening light is always the best to work with for me.