Resolving a troublesome wave painting.

I decided to look at this existing seascape again and change some aspects of it.

Large Wave Breaking Reworked

This painting has undergone several changes overtime. The earliest photo of it is here. Sometimes I find it really helpful to go back in time to see where the painting was working before I became unhappy with it. I had forgotten the sky had been this light grey until looking over old photos.

wave breaking alternative

On the same day as the image above I had reworked the wave, but had put too much black on the underside of the wave.

wave breaking alternative image

The following day I had reworked the crest of the wave to a more pleasing shape and colour. Unfortunately I had decided for some reason to change the sky, which I can now see had already been working.

wave breaking alternative

I changed the colour of the sky again to a strange blue.

Then I applied a glaze of light turquoise. This covered up too much of the under-painting and made the painting milky. By adding too many white highlights, I lost some of the definition on the surf

"wave breaking" oil on canvas 100 x 70cm £395

So recently I put the painting back on the easle. Then with a lot of turpentine, white spirit and elbow grease I scrubbed back the turquoise glaze to reveal the under-painting. Returned the sky to a light grey giving the focus of the painting back to the light coming though the wave. Also gave more definition to the shadows and the tunnel.

"wave breaking" oil on canvas 100 x 70cm £395

I think I’ve learned through this that it is vital to recognise what is working in a painting at its earliest stages. Hold onto those elements and don’t over glaze for the sake of it.

"wave breaking" giclee print
“Wave breaking” Oil on canvas: 100 x 70cm

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