Posted on

The Red Spinnaker Sail

Recently, I finished my latest work entitled The Red Spinnaker Sail. It was inspired by a sailing regatta a few weekends ago, which you can read about in my previous post, HERE. The sailboats were headed downwind and the winds were very light, so they all had their spinnaker sails out to give them more air.

Every week our local sailing club has races on Wednesdays and Sundays. We happened upon a race when launching our boat a few weekends ago, and there was a beautiful yellow sailboat with a red spinnaker sail, speedily passing by. My attention was caught by the vibrant red sail and so I snapped a few pics before it was gone, and created this painting.



(The Tamarack Mountain Studio Watermark is not on the painting.)

The Red Spinnaker Sail was painted on 9″ x 12″ white Pastelmat paper, with pan pastels and soft pastel sticks. I used Pan Pastels for my underpainting. The Pan Pastels are very soft, even softer than soft pastel sticks. They are applied with a specific type sponge made especially for these pastels. I used the pastel knives with sponge tips, which you can purchase with the pan pastels, as my application. They are too soft for my liking to be used as a final product, but made a perfect surface for an underpainting. I had to be careful not to apply too much of the pan pastel on my paper because the build up of pastel would be achieved too soon. I am not one who likes to use fixative, for many reasons, so getting an overabundance of pastel on the paper is always on the back of my mind. Once the tooth of the paper is gone, it’s very difficult to add more pastel.


There were many other colorful sailboats with awesome spinnakers but I chose to portray the red spinnaker because of it’s complimentary color scheme with the forest. Here’s a sailboat with a blue spinnaker that was just gorgeous!


The Blue Spinnaker Sail

I decided not to paint this sailboat because there would have been too much blue and not enough contrast. I love how the colorful sails are reflected in the water. That was another visual that caught my attention of the red spinnaker, the reflection of red in the water!


The studio mascots, Alistair and Cordelia have decided to make an appearance and are engaged in a meaningful discussion of The Red Spinnaker Sail. Let’s listen in:


Alistair and Cordelia critique the Red Spinnaker Sail

“Cordelia, what do you think of this pastel painting with the Red Spinnaker Sail?”

“Well Al, you know I love sailing! It’s my favorite activity when it’s hot. You notice how my outfit goes well with the colors in the painting?”

“Why yes Cordelia, you are always well dressed. But I wonder what your thoughts are on this particular painting we are viewing?”

“My thoughts? Well, that big sail sure is bright red!”

“Yes indeed Cordelia. Do you like the painting?”

“Yellow is not my favorite color, nor is red. I prefer the more subtle colors of orange and teal, as you can see by my outfit.”

“Oh Cordelia, you jest. I can never get a straight answer out of you!”

“Let’s go Alistair, I’ve looked at the sailboat painting long enough. I guess it’s nice. But I don’t like red.”


I think we’ve had enough of Alistair and Cordelia. I never take them seriously anyway, but they can be fun. I mean, does anyone think this is funny besides me?

What do you think of “The Red Spinnaker Sail” pastel painting?

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, much love and happy Summer! ~ Rhonda