Thursday, February 28, 2013

Daily Painting Practice - Boat on the lake - sizing it up

Here I go again.

Taking the color  study and  up sizing it to a larger  canvas. Unlike the last painting, I am not using pastel pencil to mark the grid lines. Instead I am using a  method to grid the  painting without leaving a mark.
 I used  white thread. If you look closely, you can see the fine line of thread. I measured and marked the sides.

 Then taped the thread on the back.
The canvas is 18"x24". I divided it in thirds. I put the horizon line right on the bottom third transfer line.
I am trying to decide where to place the sail boat In the original color study the  boat is more to the left.  First I was thinking of moving it to exactly where the  grid lines cross, but I think moving it farther to the left  opens the painting up a bit.  Now, I have two boats in the water.
 I begin blocking in some tone and color, keeping the paint very thin, almost like watercolor.
 I am concentrating on the sky, trying to keep my colors  clean and fresh. For me, this means trying not to overwork the brush strokes. I placed a dot of white to check the placement of the sail again.  It needs to move to the left. 
 Here you can see how thin I am keeping the paint. Also, I am trying to keep lots of color in the white clouds; purples, oranges, warm and cool grays and yellows.
 I think the sky is coming along. The clouds have a nice rhythm and work their way back towards the horizon.  Next, I'll work on the distant shoreline and start on the trees.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Daily Painting Practice - Maine Seascape -almost there

I thought I would Post the progress of the large version.

The canvas is 36"x48". Originally I was going to do a landscape on this canvas but the sea waits for no man.
I made a grid  on the original using a pastel so it can be removed. I scaled up the grid on the  large canvas and roughed in the main darks and lights and used a cool midtone to cover the orange. 
 If  you look close, you can see the grid marks. I originally wanted to  complete each section ( sky, middle ground, center of interest, rocks, then foreground.) I held out a little while but somewhere along the way I got  caught up in just painting and feeling my through the scene.
 In these last two I worked mostly on the sky.
With the sky close to what I wanted  I moved to the middle ground and  the center of interest. I originally liked the wave on the right side, but as she who must not be named commented, I was after more power and not such a calm sea. So I began to fiddle with the idea.
 The sea on the left side looks right but the  perspective is not what I want on the right hand side. Also the white foam in the foreground is bothering me... It draws too much attention from the main event and is just a spot. It does not help lead the eye to the center.
 I am still struggling with the background on the right side. But the rocks and the action of the water in the middle are working much better. Painting foam is fun. However, too much white can make it look very pasty and kill the life of the painting. So be sure to vary the color of the foam.
 I am very close here and should have taken a break. It would have been a good time to sit back and review... I really like the right side now.... but
 I fiddled with it a bit too much... Oh well, better leave it for now and work on something else.
I am almost there. Oh, and I will need a good title.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Daily Painting Practice - turn overs another way to generate ideas

This a seascape at night. A painting by Frederick Waugh. I wonder where he  came up with his idea?

If you have been following my blog lately, you know that I am trying  to come up with many ideas for seascapes from thumbnail sketches. I was inspired to think about a moonlit seascape recently, not by Waugh, no my idea came from...

No, it is not my color sketch for a foggy, moon lit, night time seascape. But it did give me an idea for a future painting. You will actually need to stand on your head to see the source.... go ahead ... I'll wait.
Never mind, I'll help you out....

 Remember this one?  (Yes I am still working on it.) The sea at night sketch is actually this painting turned over and cropped.  
 So, if you are runnning dry on ideas, (running dry is  very dangerous for seascape painters) you can turn over a new leaf,  or better yet turn over an old painting. You may be surprised at what you see.

Here are the latest progress shots of this painting. You have to go back quiet a few posts to see when and how I started.  

 I am working all over the place -   making the rocks rockier, making the background fall back, giving the trees some form and the water some foam.
  Too much splash in those waves on the left and not enough contrast between foreground and middle ground.
 It's coming along.  I added a leaf or two, detailed some of the rock, then worked... reworked ...and reworked the falls.

I still need to work on the foreground water and then ask for a critique from the fab 5.