September 9th, 2014

The Rigolets Lighthouse

Annie Strack is an art educator and a master of marine paintings. This is Annie’s report about her drawing of the historic Rigolets Lighthouse, destroyed by Hurricaine Katrina. “I used to live in the New Orleans area, and one of the best things about living there was the diverse and numerous subjects nearby that make for interesting maritime paintings.

I was tidying my studio the other day when I came across some of my old photos of the Rigolets Lighthouse, and I painted this 4×6 watercolor from them. This lighthouse was built in 1855 and once guided maritime traffic at the Rigolets Pass entrance to Lake Pontchartrain until it was abandoned in the mid-20th century and fell into disrepair and then lost to Hurricane Katrina 9 years ago.

The paper is Stillman & Birn’s Beta Series, from a small sample pack they sent to me along with a sketchbook that I had won on one of their social media contests. Nice paper, very good for sketching and studies. Very resistant, the water and pigment stays on top and doesn’t soak in, so very easy to lift the watercolor paint off, down to the white paper.

I wanted to depict a stormy day in this painting, so I used mostly indigo and Payne’s grey for the sky and water. While it was still wet I blotted out some clouds in the sky with tissues, and I let the damp paint create a few blooms in the water to give the effect of rippling reflections. After it dried, I painted the marsh and the rusty roof using Quinacridone gold, burnt sienna, and sepia. I used the sky colors of indigo and Payne’s grey for the shadows, and for the weathered wood of the building and the pilings. This paper allows easy lifting of non-staining colors, so after the painting dried I added a few lighter values by removing paint with damp brush.” Annie’s website:

MEDIA: Watercolor
BETA SERIES: Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

Annie Strack, Rigolets Lighthouse


Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>