One of my all time heroes is (Winslow Homer). This is his Red Shirt, Homosassa, Florida, 1904.
One reason to admire Homer is that he gives you a real sense of place in his paintings. How can he do this? It's because you can see Homer's connections to his subject. These are not compositions from photographs but compositions from the heart of an artist. They are sketches from life, memory and experience. To be able to compose a painting like that, now that is a goal I want to aspire to!
I have never painted palm trees before, so I am keeping old Winslow in my mind as I try to paint these old Florida gems.
OK, keep the paint loose and watercolor like....even though it is oils. ( and yes I do talk to myself like this when I am painting)
One thing I like to do with oils is paint an underlayer with some saturated color then go over it with a more muted color. It seems to add a layer of depth. Either that or I am wasting a lot of time painting everything twice.
It still amazes me at this stage, how ugly some paintings are when they start out. Right now this painting is nothing more than blotches of color. I actually have the most fun just after this stage of painting. That's when I go back over the blotches and add just enough detail to bring out the form and the light.