Wednesday, 27 July 2016

High Summer, Burnham Overy Staithe

Pastel on Pastelmat, 19 x 27 inches

I know some of you readers like to see stages of a painting, and I took about 10 photos along the way in the making of this beast, but, inexplicably, they aren't on the camera!  So, I have just one stage photo, below, taken a little while before the finish.

Quite a complicated painting this, with an awful lot going on throughout the piece. I like to keep the whole painting moving along at the same speed, because, as I always say in my demos, if you concentrate on one passage, without putting down the adjacent tones and colours, whatever you have painted will look very different when the colours next to it are placed - every colour and tone is relative to the next one, and cannot be guessed until they are all placed.

You can clearly see in this stage, that the pinkish tones in the water in the bottom left third are way too light, but until I scribbled in the tones below I wasn't sure. Had I completed that passage, I would have found the tones too light and would have to change them after spending time getting them what I thought was 'right'. And, the foreground boat, although a white boat, appears much darker than that because we are looking directly into the sunlight.  Again, I had to place the approximate tones of the hull down first, then the surrounding tone of the water placed immediately in order to ascertain the correct relative tones to each other, mostly by trial and error.  The trick of getting a scene to look 'real', is to recognise the errors, and correct them. Many amateur paintings fall down because the tones aren't right, so that there is no punch or impact.

The final bit of the painting was to whack in the sparkly spots of reflected sunlight with my lovely soft Schminke Titanium White - see how these spots bring the painting to life. 

This is the last painting that is going to the RSMA show, and is being collected tomorrow morning at 5.30. I'm writing this as I'm waiting for the wax to dry on its frame, so I had better set to and fit it in its frame... 


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