I decided to look at this existing seascape again and change some aspects of it.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
As a community, it is important to support local artists because, without local support, the art they make would stop and the impact it could have made would disappear. If you support a local artist, you are in turn supporting all of our respective creative freedoms.
Once artists are able to express themselves creatively and freely, beautiful art is made that can be admired by the community and beyond. These art pieces not only reflect the artists’ ideas, but also their hidden messages behind each work of art.
Sources to find local artists
Search Google for (insert your towns name) local artists
Instagram will list artists nearby if you type in your local town
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.
I have decided to take photos from start to finish of my new wave painting. The first image is stage 1 and the other is the second stage. At this point I find it helpful to look at the progress of the work and decide where I can make alterations. Some of the parts of the canvas to me looked better in stage 1 than they do now. This can alter the way I proceed to stage 3. I find even if you preferred the way the painting started initially to now you have to keep going. At times it can be frustrating but hopefully the painting will resolve itself. It is important to take photos throughout as this helps you see your progress from a different perspective. Photos can highlight areas obviously in need of more thought.
Just started on a new work today with a preliminary title of “Into the blue”.
I have been looking at the work of Maggi Hambling and her attitude to the sea with its ‘walls of water’. Her use of oil paints and the free reign it gives her is really inspiring. She says “oil paint has a great life force of its own”.
The range of blues and turquoise from photographs of giant waves in the South Pacific has also inspired me.
However a winter sea with its pale green, white and grey can be equally interesting to try and capture.
One of the reasons that I keep returning to the subject of giant waves and their power might have to do with the fact that I was knocked over by a large wave as a young child and hurled into the sand with some force. I clearly remember the mouthful of sand which resulted.
I will add to this post as I progress.
Worked some more on this today. Trying to get the crest right.
Sometimes I find after working on a painting for a period of time I just can’t see it properly anymore. I have to leave it and walk away and return to it and rework a painting after a week or even months. It might appear to be finished or unresolved at the time. However when revisiting it I can see the painting with clearer vision. This process of time can change the way I look at a painting. I might be pleased with it when I initially finished it, but on reflection it just doesn’t seem right. So more work needs to be done in order for me to be satisfied with the final outcome.
Below are 4 photographs of a painting I was reworking. Taking photos gives me another viewpoint and can help with colours or see unresolved parts of the painting that just don’t seem clear to me in real life. I have now finished this painting and the large view is the completed painting. It took sometime to get there, but it’s all about keeping going until you are satisfied you have resolved most the issues. Finally it is knowing when to stop.
Before and after reworking
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