Sunday, June 25, 2023




Waiting For You
Original Oil
32" X 48"
 professional scan of the painting.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Making Up wood

 As is often the case with reference photos, even if I use my best camera the brightest sections can be washed out or the darkest places too dark.
If I were to follow my reference photos of this boat, the stern would be a brown/black blob. My eyes saw beautiful wood planks. Time to make up the wood. Rather than making a solid layer of wood, which would imply a veneer, I made three planks differentiating them with a lighter plank in the middle. 

It may sound kind of artsy-crazy, but as I was painting I was not thinking of burnt sienna or raw umber. I was thinking wood and wood grain. Every stroke was "making" wood. For me I think that helped.



Stepping inside the boat. 
While the water is the stage for the boat, that feeling of 3-D only fully comes from the boat playing the primary role. 
The visible seat on this boat was white but I thought a wooden seat better captured the feeling of the boat.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Making water wet


One of the creative things I like about painting water is that even if you have the "perfect" reference photos, you cannot copy them and make the "perfect" painting. (Not that I am suggesting this painting is perfect!)
I find there are changes that must be made to the water so it reads as truly wet. Sometimes that takes painting this way, adjusting that way, adding color from over here and letting happy "mistakes" happen to have planned randomness accomplish the task. The bottom right part of the painting is a good example of feeling my way through various water passages.
Note: All of these photos are quick phone photos with no side to side lighting adjustments.

 While the water may appear finished, as the boat was painted I looked for areas which required adjustment.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

More Water

I must admit that working on the top of this piece took some additional effort. While it might seem like the easiest part of the water, I find it one of the more difficult sections. 

  It has to be less defined than the middle or foreground. After working on some exciting features in the middle ground I find I have to rein in my strokes, colors, and wave definition, yet still hold the viewer's interest and have it read "wet."
 There were several passages I had to keep blending so they didn't draw one's attention too much. Sometimes that meant they went from too defined to boring to strange to just right. These are places I keep my eyes on as I continue to work with the water. 

 This part of the water I was really excited to get to. The introduction of some vibrant colors and the complicated water and reflections are what drew me to the painting concept.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Sea, Sand, & Shore

 Lately I have been working on some larger paintings for the Louisa Gould Gallery on Martha's Vineyard. Usually I will send her one larger painting, a few medium, and several small ones. The gallery asked for some larger paintings this year.

Tackling a large painting takes some extra planning on my part. 
First, my usual preferred substrate, Richeson pre-gessoed 1/8" board, maximum size is 24" X 36."  This means I move to a heavier 1/4" board which must be gessoed on the back, edges, and several coats on the front. The board must also be handled to prevent warping.
Secondly, my vertical boards to which my horizontal resting board attaches need to be constantly attached and detached. Detached so I can see the entire painting and reattached so I can use the resting board.
Thirdly, I have to be sure before I start that the concept warrants a large format. Not all do. Also, will this completed painting fit well in to the group of paintings I want to send to the gallery? It is one thing to paint a 9" X 12" painting and not be happy with it. Quite another to take the time on a large piece only to set it aside.

Lastly, do I love the idea and composition? I will be "living" with the painting for a while.

With all that in mind, over the next several posts I will show you what I came up with for the largest painting in this year's Sea, Sand, & Shore collection.

32" X 48"

It may seem strange to start in the middle of a painting. And for me, it is an unusual occurrence. However in this painting the right side wave sets the tone for the entire water. I wanted to establish it first.
Note: I used a heavier turpentine wash on the boat partly to set the darker values and partly to "be present" as I worked on the water.

To even things up I opted to start on the middle left section next.