I find this rowboat fascinating. Working on the gleaming wooden edge has been a challenge. To achieve "the look," I am using more vivid colors than first mixed. Once the rest of the boat is painted, I'll revisit this natural wood edge.
Sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint what inspires me to paint a scene. Is it the water, the reflection, the different modes of transportation or a combination?
Often it is my first impression. What caught my eye immediately was the teal green of the boat and its reflection in the water. I've saved it for almost the end. Not only does painting it now make sense, but I often "save the best for last." While having ice cream at the beginning of the meal may alleviate my sugar craving, it is far more satisfying to dip my spoon in the frozen dessert at the conclusion of the meal.
If I could paint all my wildlife in water, I would. However, not all animals like to swim.
But, when it comes to pieces reflecting living on an island, incorporating water is easy. This will be another painting going to the Louisa Gould Gallery in Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard.
The scene is from Vineyard Haven harbor. Three forms of transportation were in the setting: the wooden rowboat, sailboats, and the ferry which takes passengers and cars from Wood's Hole to Vineyard Haven. Some artistic license and I had a painting.
My niece texted me asking how I paint water so well. I joked, "water is wet, paint is wet. Easy."
Actually, I do have a few "tricks" which help me achieve the type of water I plan to paint.
1.) Analyze the different colors in the water
2.) Mix the various colors represented, a minimum of three in the same color group (3 blues, or 3 greens, etc.) Sometimes for a blue water painting I might have 5 or 6. If there are reflections, that number can be much higher. Having the colors pre-mixed gives me a chance to look them over ahead of time and see if they are good representations of the water I am trying to create.
3.) Keep in mind that all reflections are duller in the same color group as the water. For example, if the water is blue, the reflected color will be not as vibrant as the non-reflected color and it will be more blue like the water it is reflected into.
4.) Set aside enough time. I do not like to feel rushed when working on water. Having plenty of time for the critical blending stage will help the painting.
5.) Paint the blocks of color
6.) Blend the edges of the different colors, moving the blending brush in the general direction of the water lines, ripples, or waves. When it is mostly blended, a few gentle blending strokes at a 90-degree angle will add a natural feel to the water.
7.) Keep painting and blending until the water looks wet. Sometimes this means realizing a section needs to be much darker, bluer, greener, vibrant, etc. I might mix more colors to blend in. This is why I give myself plenty of time. Fortunately, oil paint does not dry right away.