I was looking through some old photographs for subjects to paint which I haven’t visited for awhile and came across the inspiration for this painting. Sometimes the subject doesn’t grab me for several years until I revisit the pictures but this photo was only from last summer. I love the beach scenes by Sargent, Sorolla and Zorn, particularly the ones involving children.
For this painting, I decided to work slowly and do plenty of preliminary work. My last post included several sketches, some Notan studies, and one painting study of the central figure. The latter is actually larger than the figure in the final painting. See the sketch for this painting.
The title comes from the focus on the little girl with her water wings and the flapping wings of the seagulls. Sargent did a wonderful painting of Neapolitan Children at the beach and one of them is wearing a contraption of bladders for floating, similar to today’s water wings.
To learn more about this painting, check out my step-by-step page here.