Few artists can resist the temptation to introduce a bit of drama when it comes to painting the sea, and Dave White is no exception. It is, after all, a bit boring if you just paint flat calm and there’s nothing like a good storm to get the juices flowing. Add a nice ripe sunset and you’ll be getting through your dark greens, rich blues and deep reds like there’s no tomorrow!
It’s perhaps unfair to start a review like that as this is one of the most thorough and useful books on painting seascapes that I’ve seen in a long time. Dave White is more than sound on achieving that tricky balance between solidity and fluidity in breaking waves and I particularly like his trick of using gulls that skim the surface (as they do) to give scale. His clouds are similarly light, fluffy and ethereal without looking half-hearted or like clumps of cotton wool stuck onto a Cerulean wash.
For all that, it’s the drama that’ll strike you on a quick flick through, but you shouldn’t let it put you off. The sea is dramatic and, as I hinted earlier, it should be. Some of the treatments here are a bit over the top for me but, equally, they might be just what you want. In terms of technique and presentation, though, this one’s hard to beat.
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