Alla Prima Seascape

Artist Sylvester Fritz painting alla prima in estepona
After getting around a quarter of the way through Richard Schmids Alla Prima and talking to a alla prima artist on twitter I’ve been inspired to leave the protective confines of my studio and just get out there and paint. It took a while to get a date set, to stop putting it off and in the end I set an afternoon for Me to just get out and find something interesting to paint.

A Saturday Afternoon Planned

As my planed Saturday evening approached my idea was to go in the country and paint this little abandoned house and field that I pass most days in my van, I thought it would make a great subject.

Gate Crashers

My little planned alla prima me time got gate crashed by a few friends that were intent to head to the beach to chill and do some fishing. Determined to still manage a alla prima session I grabbed a bag of paints, brushes a spray bottle and a couple of canvas. I was determined to paint something that day, even if it had to be a seascape, which to be honest I really find boring unless it has galleons in it… which by the way didn’t, I’m about 200 years too late for that one.
So we headed to a remote part of the beach, a nice sand dune area on the out skirts of Estepona. Away from the fuss, I sat down in the sand and sorted out my paints and brushes.

Bamboo Easel, Painting Survival

A illustration of my little makeshift bamboo easel I knocked up for my little alla prima afternoon

Brushcraft Survival Easel

I still haven t got around to buying myself a nice portable easel for these little alla prima sessions so I had an idea to make a makeshift one out of a few bamboo canes you find readily available here in the Costa Del Sol, , I stuck 3 in to the sand and then weaved a few thinner ones in between and plonked my canvas on. it certainly helped keep my canvas upright as I painted.


As suggested by a artist that paints regular alla prima, I gave myself 90miniutes to complete the project and tried working as fast as I could, fighting the part of me that wants to get bogged down in detail and perfecting things.
Sylvester Fritz painting alla prima in estepona

A Learning Curve

I’ll be honest I found my 1st alla prima session a struggle, sand kept falling in my paint, I didn’t have enough clean water to keep my brushes and colours clean and I struggled to find a focal point on my seascape I was working on. All that and the light was rapidly changing from a grey blue to a blue purple to finally a red night sky. I will say I did have fun with it though, it was a learning experience and I can see a few areas that I went wrong and can’t wait to get out for my next little session.


Alla Prima Summary

Looking back I remember seeing a cool little rock pile someone had built, balancing the rocks on top of each other in the dunes, next to a few bushes, I wish I would have forgot the seascape and sat nice and close to this little rock pile and painted that and the bushes that surround, that would of made a much more interesting subject… Ahh but what can you do, next time, I’m sure next time will be better, or if not the time after next time, haha.
I have to just realize for the time being I’m just an alla prima noob!

Need More Practise

So I wasn’t overly delighted with my finished painting, lol. At least I can gesso over the canvas and use it again for my next alla prima session!! 🙂
alla prima 1st attempt

Lets Hear From You

Feel free to drop a comment, love to hear about your Alla Prima or Art projects.
If your unfamiliar with Alla Prima, check out a great master Alla Prima Painter Richard Shchmid website, his book is well worth the read. Vist Richard Schmids Site


Artist in Marbella

Bamboo Easel