Waimea in Summer

Waimea in Summer (Pastel)
Waimea in Summer (Pastel)
One of my early attempts at pastel painting was this summer scene of Waimea Bay, Hawaii.   
I think this was my first visit to Hawaii, back in the 90’s.  There wasn’t even a wave breaking but the shore wash was still powerful enough to keep knocking over a couple of Japanese tourists.  They thought it was hilarious and so did we.  
What a contrast this image is to my first Waimea Bay visit after moving to Hawaii in 2009.  There was a huge swell and they were holding the Eddie Aikau big wave surf contest.  I was excited to see the huge waves but we had to park about a mile from the beach and walk the rest of the way.  When we got there, the waves were breaking so far out you couldn’t really see that much anyway.  If you want to watch big wave surfing, I think Burleigh Point on the Gold Coast is the best place to get close to the action.
Waimea Bay is best known for its huge winter swells and big wave surfing but I like it much better in summer when the dolphins are hanging out and you can float around all day in the tranquil water.  However, I would like to try painting this scene again with some huge waves rolling into the bay which would be a bit more challenging.
It’s not a bad idea to start with simple seascapes when learning pastels as they are quite forgiving but there is always a danger of overworking them and ending up with mud. I think for me, though, pastels are better suited to portraits and animals, although I admit I could use more practice with them.  Luckily for me, my kids bought me a new set of soft pastels for Christmas last year.  I am looking forward to giving them a workout.
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