Phase 8 - After studying it, taking suggestions, and dreaming about the darn thing here is the final final final. Changed the shape of that back mountain and softened the shoreline and reshaped it. I'm ready to move on .
Phase 7 - Final. I finally signed it!! Except for a couple of little things, this piece is done.
Phase 6 - I'm almost done!! First, I re-alcoholed the reflections in the water (grrrrrr!!!). Then I redid the reflections and put lots more color in the water, and also made sure there were some lost edges at the waters edge. I also put more color in the background water because it is reflecting the sky. Darkened up the water in front to show more distance too.
Put in a beautiful pastel sky by using a light lime green, yellows and pinks over it, and used a couple of different values of blues in the upper sky to show the zenith. Back and forth, back and forth, to get a nice, soft gradated look to it. Will fix any "halos" with the final touches.
Put some more darks in the bushes and worked on the trees a bit more. Put more highlights in the sand.
The biggest change was to open up and let air and light through the trees. At first block in, it was all one big solid mass, so to let some air in, I took out (by painting over) some trees and put lots of skyholes in. It looks much more open and breathable now. Don't you think?
Sorry about the glare up in the upper left. It is lighter, but not that light and washed out. There is another lamp above my easel that has a bright, warm light bulb in it.
So now it sits for a while for observation. I'll soften the trees around the sky a bit more, so the sky holes don't look so bright.
Phase 5 - Slowing down for the evening. I just worked on the trees and bushes more and put the water in. Will explain more tomorrow about how I put the water in.
Phase 4 - As you can see, I fixed the shape of the shoreline and it looks much better. Then I scumbled in all the back trees (more work needed) making sure the darks stayed toward the bottoms. I also added little dots and dashes in and around the bushes, which I'll tone down later, to make it look like there are more types of plants.
I'm not worried about the tops of the trees at this point because later when I start putting the sky in, I'll paint the sky around the trees (painting negative space again) and will mold the shapes of the treetops.
Phase 3 - Because the underpainting looked like a painting, that meant to me that my values were spot on, so I decided to work on my center or interest only and get it all done before moving on to the rest, which won't be much work at all.
Starting with the bushes in front, I started out with a dark green, a mid green, and a light green/gold to start sculpting the front bush. Something said to me, "pink" so I put some pinks in that front bush also. I think it just added interest. As I was completing the other bushes, I put a similar color into them to unify the painting a bit more.
I used a different tone of emerald greens in a couple of values on the other bushes so they would stand out, but be different than the main bush. I tried really hard not to obliterate the darks under the bushes, but may have to go back into those areas and re-establish a bit more darks again. So, if you lose your darks, put them back in!! Contrast is what makes a painting pop.
When all the front bushes were done, I took a mid blue Polychromos (similar to NuPastel, square and long in shape) and started smoothing the tops of the bushes by pulling down with vertical strokes. I'm hoping later in the painting it will make the tops of the bushes seem to recede. We will see.
Sand. The sand closest to the water is still wet and therefore it's darker, so I put down a darker neutral sand color and then as the sand recedes away from the water, a lighter shade is put down. Also, to make the sand appear closer to the front of the painting, I laid down both a warmer shade of sand and also a bit darker value to bring it closer. I'm going to work on the shape of the shoreline a bit more. I don't like those 2 dips because they are almost the same in size and I want more interesting shapes that are different in size and shape.
I started painting the water, but it just didn't look right so I put back down the dark reflections and re-did the alcohol wash as in Phase 1. I'll do the water later after the trees are complete.
Phase 2 - The most important part of a painting is the darks, so I'm establishing dark areas of the main focal point with a very dark navy Mount Vision in the back pine trees, and a couple of very dark Terry Ludwig purples underneath the bushes. And, I am actually scrubbing in the darks with my fingers. I'm also being very careful to carve out, by painting negative space, interesting shapes in the bushes in front.
Phase 1 - I established the main shapes of this painting with 9 different colors and washed them in with rubbing alcohol (70%) and a #8 Flat Utrecht (series 209) bristle brush. Let dry.