Newest Painting Demonstration: All the steps laid out
I'm really happy with how this painting turned out. I had a rough start, beginning on a used canvas (You can see the false start, here, then I decided to use a fresh canvas, untoned, and larger. I thought this would enable me to let the whites show through in both the clouds and in the boat. In fact, there are areas of the boat where I used no paint at all! I wanted the effect you would get if you were there in person, with the bright sun making you squint.
Here is a variety of shots, showing the different steps I took along the way in completing this. I start with a simple drawing in burnt umber or ochre, and note the most dominant lines in the composition. I take care to allow space for the frame, and use broad, thin strokes of paint like a rough watercolor.
Once you start to get the lines where you want them, fill in some colors of the larger massed areas. A general hue of that color will help you position parts of the subject, and visualize the whole, while giving you a ground to build onto.
Clouds are always intimidating. Skies in general are. Even a simple blue sky isn't simple. It's a complex gradation of blues, changing hues and brightness through the atmosphere.
Here, I'm working on the gradations of tone from the bright white into the shadows. It's a challenging mix of green and beige. Sometimes colors seem to exist on the same plane, independent of each other. Blue and Yellow can be there together without being green. Red and Blue can be there together without being purple. Not exactly intuitive.
This is a close up of the metal fasteners that hold the ropes to the boat. The ring was the hardest part, since the ovoid shape needs to describe the angle at which the ring is tilted to hold onto the rope. I think I got it in the end.
I saved the beach sand to the end. It seemed like it would be simple enough. Not many colors in the mix, and no need to follow the real form of the footprints. Who would know?
The house in the back isn't too detailed. Not much in the painting is. I even held back here and there so it wasn't too rigid. The ropes are the focal point, so these are pretty detailed in relation to the rest.
I had a lot of fun with this one, and it went pretty quickly. I started it on October 31, and finished it December 5. Considering I only really work in the morning on weekdays, that's about 12 hours. Not too shabby!
And here is the finished piece:
It's 20x24, oil on canvas. I hope you like it!