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Corpus Christi Bay: Painting Incidentals

I first did my washes and then slowly began to see people in the painting, without really planning or drawing for them. ~ Al Kline

Last night, I painted a very iconic scene from my home bayfront, here in Corpus Christi.

If you have ever visited the CC bay front, you will instantly recognize the One Shoreline Tower on the left and Joe’s Crab Shack, with its many palm trees around it on the T-Head.

Corpus Christi Bayfront , painted on half sheet Saunders 140lb rough watercolor paper , 22″x30″.

What I found interesting about this painting, was how I first did my washes and then slowly began to see people in the painting, without really planning or drawing for them. They were actually what I call, “incidentals”.

First Wash for CC Bayfront, trying to capture a light rain in the sky and the morning light, which can be so rich and yellow/orange.
Almost done, and then I noticed incidentals for people on the boat dock and boat on the right. I didn’t like how the mast on the right looked, so I turned that mast shape into a person on the boat.

If you look closely at this part of the painting, I began to notice incidentals on the boat dock. I didn’t particularly like the way the mast looked on the right, so I turned that into a person.

If you look closely on the boat dock, you can see incidental shapes that look like figures.
I then turned these shapes into simple figures.

I then began to turn these shapes into some incidental figures. This was actually the first time I painted and saw some incidental marks that would add some character to this painting.

I finished off the painting with some simple touches including flags on the masts and darkening some of the forward piers.

If I were to critique this painting, I could have done a better job at ‘cutting’ around shapes to make better light, especially in the boats along Joe’s Crab Shack. Overall, I was happy with the atmosphere and capturing the early morning light and early activity on the boat dock.


  1. Great, I enjoy the story, although I do watercolor on tablet the joy of discovery seems to be the same. Tablet is more forgiving and less messy… but nothing is like a pencil and blank piece of paper..,


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