Filey Cliff Views

The Story Behind the Painting

Whenever I visit my home town of Filey, North Yorkshire England I always like to walk along the cliff tops to Scarborough, this usually takes a few hours with spectacular views the whole way. I like to complete my walk with a nice lunch in Scarborough before catching the train or bus back to Filey, usually which ever arrives first.

I absolutely love this sign because of how its faded and pealing away, giving it a much more dramatic message of danger. I think one day this will make a fantastic painting in its own right.

My Painting Process

I absolutely love painting scenery from my home town and have wanted to paint this image for a long time.

However some subject you just have get more practice before you attempt them.

I had a good feeling that the time was right and I only wish I’d painted it a little larger so I could get all the rock details in.

I’ve managed to get a much more even sky with a larger brush and this in turn has made them look more realistic and I’m much more confident painting seascapes now.


Having visited the places that I’m painting from and using my own photos I think lends to capturing more accurate details.

In the background I know is Scarborough with it’s a bay and castle, they may only be single dabs of paint but they are well placed dabs.

I started painting the rocks below the cliffs and totally got carried away trying to match the colour of the bare rocks and the seaweed wrapped rocks.

It’s amazing where my mind drifts off too when I start painting, while painting the rocks around the waters edge I have visions of kayaking in the sea on the other side of the world in Australia.

As I paint the rocks below the surface I have images of snorkelling around rock pools and reefs and imagine what fish are below the surface. Then you snap back to reality and discovered you have just painted hundreds of little rocks.


Now it was time for the cliff face with all the years of erosion and landslides, crashing to the cold North Sea below.

This was fun to paint all the different layers of rock and grasses and its not a seascape without a few seagulls.

I re visit the water and soften it up a little also adding some greens of reflections and a few white caps of the waves hitting the rocks.


The foreground part of the cliff face was rather quick to paint using a few greens I was able to capture the grass tuffs.

The last part of the painting was to added the grass and weed stalks which would be a stark contrast to the deep blue of the sea.

I love the way the wind is blowing the grass and the seagulls are floating on the same breeze hundreds of feet below.


I’m thinking that I might mount this image in a black matt and maybe not show the deckled edges. This may then look more like a window with a beautiful view.

So would you like to see me paint more landscapes or do you prefer my animals ?


Gouache Colour Palette

I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Arches France Watercolour Paper, 300g Cold Pressed.

My painting come from my own experiences that I have lived and photographed while traveling. By reading this blog, you as a viewer can now hear The Story Behind the Painting. Where, when, what was happening while I was photographing the wildlife.
If you want more details about my adventures checkout my travel blog website www.ChrisOsborneAdventures.wordpress.com 

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

2 Comments on “Filey Cliff Views

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