Painting Perth’s Rocky Coastline

At the start of the year, Chontele, Elora, and I spent a week with friends in Perth. It has some beautiful spots, particularly along the coast. My most recent painting is based on a photo I took at Cape Peron. 

Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023
Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023
Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023 Reference Photo
Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023, Reference Photo

This was a surprisingly challenging scene to paint well. 

The big idea of this painting is the brilliant, shimmering light reflecting off the water. It was almost blinding in person. I also wanted to capture the striking contrast between the light and the half-silhouetted rocks, and how the strong sea breeze stirred up the water’s surface and the plants along the coastline. 

This is one of those cases where the reference photo does not do the scene justice. There’s no way a camera can capture the brilliance of seeing this dance of light, color, wind, and waves in person. Not with current technology anyway. 

To paint this scene effectively, I had to draw on my memories from Perth, particularly my first impressions of the scene as I stood overlooking the rocky coastline. First impressions are gold as they help clarify what it is you are really painting. That’s why I prefer to paint from recent experiences, as I can still draw on those first impressions whilst they are fresh in my mind and before time has its way with them.

More painting tips to come. If you ever want to learn more, check out my ebook, 21 Easy Ways to Improve Your Paintings

Happy painting!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

Ps. I just came across this video on YouTube. You might find it interesting. I love watching great artists paint outdoors like this. There’s something so raw and honest about it. 


Dan Scott is the founder of Draw Paint Academy. He's a self-taught artist from Australia with a particular interest in landscape painting. Draw Paint Academy is run by Dan and his wife, Chontele, with the aim of helping you get the most out of the art life. You can read more on the About page.