Setting out the composition of my sea storm painting i.e. the combination of all elements in the artwork, not just visual elements, but also the mood and light.
Refining the composition. I find looking at the image from a distance, at least 20 feet away, really helpful. It can show things you have missed working close up. Also taking photos of the work can enable you to see things from a different angle and perspective.
Glazing. I use glazes to enrich the surface to the work. I may return to a canvas several weeks after applying an initial glaze to reapply another if needed. Drying can change to the look of a painting dramatically, so its important to give it time to develop.
Highlights. Once the glaze has dried or sometimes whilst it is drying, depending on the effect desired, I like to go back and highlight the crest of waves or the ripples on the ocean. This gives you a good depth of field.
The wave highlights have been softened and a blue glaze applied. The sky has been changed with a warm yellow in the distance to contrast with the cold blues in the foreground.
These 5 stages are not cast in stone and I may mix them up or return to stage 2 or 3 even after stage 4. It just depends on how successful or not the final piece is.
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