Monday, November 18, 2013

Daily Painting Practice - Cape Elizabeth Maine - Seascape oil painting - work in progress

Another large attempt at a seascape.

The  rocky coast of Maine offers a lot of opportunity to paint a seascape with a strong abstract design. To accomplish this start by simply breaking the composition into two parts.... dark and light. That's exactly what I am attempting with this piece.

I actually started by painting over an old cityscape (art influenced by global warming?) I toned the 36"x48" canvas with a very warm brick red, then blocked in the light water and dark rocks. The result, an abstract form made up of a light area and a dark area. If only I can keep it that way while I paint the rest of it. I may have to come back to this first photo to remind myself... everything must clearly fit into either the dark and light abstract forms.

 The next few steps (photos) are very close together but I thought it would give you a better idea of my progress. I started on the background(the water). Getting a feel for the motion of the wave is always enjoyable. It's like body surfing in your mind.

 Even though this wave is broken into dark and light shapes,  I should still keep it totally on the light side of the over all painting.

 Now I want to do some work in the middle ground area. Mostly rocks but also that bit of back water caught between the rocks.

 To pull this off I need to  keep the foreground sharper and warmer, also the darkest dark needs to be in the foreground.

 Add some  lines to try and define the planes of the rocks as a reminder to change the tone on each surface plane.

Maine Seascape on the Rocks - Work in Progress

 I've added a new color to my palette. Ivory Black.  I have read all the cautionary tales about using black. ( it mutes the colors, it cools the grays too much... don't get addicted to it...blah blah blah). If it was good enough for Anders Zorn it is worth trying. I find it adds a whole host of new gray tones to my color choices.

This work in progress is going well but I am thinking of adding some seagulls to give the painting more of a narrative theme. She who must not be named is not in favor of this... (too overdone)  However, I may do a photo shop version to see if the idea works then come back to test her resolve .

Stay tuned!

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