Oil Painting of North Landing, Flamborough

The Background

We parked on the car park immediately above the small bay that is North Landing, Flamborough.  My wife, Brenda decided she was tired and was more than happy to sit in the car watching the waves below.


I walked past a crawler (track laying) tractor which had been abandoned perhaps 20 years ago.  I photographed the very rusty and somewhat see through tractor. This brought back memories of when I worked in the drawing office of the crawler tractor manufacturers where I served my engineering apprenticeship. I later saw a newer tractor of the same make and wondered whether the older one was being kept for its spare parts. I walked down the steps past the lifeboat station and continued down the steps parallel to the lifeboat launching ramp.


It was 5 pm in late October, it had been a sunny day and I could smell the sea weed and hear the sea gently smashing against the pebbles on the sandy shore, rubbish haha – far more likely to be the waves crashing against the nearby cliffs.  I could also hear the raucous cry of the seagulls.  The sea was only 20 feet from the bottom of the lifeboat ramp.


I entered a small cave and generally surveyed the area.



I remember seeing a young couple holding hands and their collie was in the water doing giant leaps upward and forward as an efficient way of reducing the sea’s drag that worked against forward motion.  Was that the dog’s intelligence or instinct?  Whatever it was I was killing myself laughing at the spectacle.

Since leaving the car I had been taking photographs partly to remember the holiday but primarily for a source material that I could use to do a painting.  I would have liked to spend more time here in this idyllic spot, but my thoughts turned to Brenda sitting in the car and I briskly walked back up the steep ramp to arrive back at the car, panting from the effort.

The oil painting

After spending some time looking through the photographs I look at/of North Landing, I chose the source for my painting it was a photo taken from the shore which showed the sea and the grass covered white cliffs and a foreground cliff.  For convenience I made an A4 print of the scene.

I selected a canvas board measuring 16” x 12” (approx 40 cm x 30 cm for those who think in metric) and did a sketch on the canvas board as a guide for applying the oil paint.  The painting was started by painting the sky with fluffy cumulus clouds in a way that would show perspective and a graduated blue sky.  The cliffs were then painted and were white with a hint of pink caused by the nature of the light on the day.  Velvety looking grass topped hills were painted on above the cliffs.  The sea was painted, then the sandy shore with its seaweed and finally the foreground cliffs which were in shadow.   During the painting I wondered if the distant cliffs were as red as they looked on the A4 print of the scene, so I referred back to the electronic file of the original photo of the scene and found that the cliffs were white with a much less red in them.  I needed to correct the cliffs in the painting.  In future I must always check that the colours in any source prints are correct before I start painting.  It is often a nuisance to have the computer on for the full duration of the painting.  I find different papers produce different colour prints.  Plein air painting (painting outdoors) eliminates this problem but adds other problems such as the sun can become covered by cloud, the clouds change, the shadows change.  Then there’s the wind and rain which can prevent or spoil the session and glare on the canvas affect the eyes causing inaccurate colour choices.  Despite this I would like to do more plein air painting.



My oil painting North Landing, Flamborough

This new painting has been added to my oil painting gallery on this website.

If you enjoyed this post please share this blog and like my page.

Question – did this story enhance the post or would you have preferred to see the painting only?