Tuesday, May 06, 2008

"Laguna Palms"

"Laguna Palms" - Oil - 11" x 14" - SOLD

”I took the reference photo - I call it 'photo sketching' - on a visit to Laguna last fall. Tempting subjects are too numerous to paint in the week I was there, so here's my impression painted in the studio.” SFG

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Work in progress...

I started with a simple sketch for placement. I find that doing a detailed one causes me to relax my attention to drawing during the remainder of the work and leads to errors. I must continue to draw from start to finish. The only difference is that I'm using color instead of thinned paint, charcoal, or pencil.

Here I've gone to my middle darks first. (I consider my darkest darks to be accents only.) I knew that I wanted the slope to reflect the light of the sky, though it was in shadow, so I kept the paint so thin that it trickled down. That's OK as long as it keeps me in the right value range.

I moved to the lighted areas, the ocean, and the sky next. No color in these areas can be as dark as any area in shadow or backlight, so I will re-evaluate the darker blue band in the water as I go.

Next, I go back into the shadow side of the bluff and restate the value. In doing so, I see how much I should lighten the blue band in the ocean. If I had not done that, it would be confusing as to whether that area was in light or in shadow.

I varied the color of the foreground to anchor the palms and added detail and color in the palm fronds. I did the same with the palm trunks and added the lightest values in the painting on the sunlit side.

In the final version, I added detail to the beach and wave and more texture to the foreground. Most of my signatures now go wet-into-wet.

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