Tuesday, July 16, 2013

On the Coast

Got a message recently from a couple living on the East Coast now, but from Oregon. They saw one of my small plein air pieces that had already sold and wanted to me to a do a larger - 18x24 version. Sure! Sounds like fun. This was a trip I took to the Oregon, where the Sixes River meets the ocean. Some painter friends and I stayed in a cabin on a Cranberry farm. This little painting was painted off the back deck. Such a lovely spot! We went hiking to paint on the beach, and somehow I got lost! No surprise, I have the worst sense of direction!
Anyway, its fun to work on a painting after years have gone by. I can see the changes in my style over time...
Here is the original plein air painting - "Coastal Morning" 8x10 acrylic on canvas

So how about some "Work in Progress" photos of the project?

The block in. I feel like there is enough going on in this scene that I should be able to enlarge it. Sometimes I have struggled with that because with one brushstroke you can fill a whole area that takes many more in a large painting. maintaining the same freshness is tough. As far as the composition, I didn't want to rock quite as big, and I wanted to create more of a feeling of depth. Beyond that, I didn't like how warm I went with the foreground shadows. Thought I would try cooler purply colors. We'll see how that goes!

Work done on the sky and the rocks. It was a morning scene, with that misty feel out in the ocean, the sun lighting up the big rock, the smaller one still in shadow. 


Worked on the mid ground. The reflection of the rock in the pools of water and the sillouetted trees with some sunlit bushes. In general I work from the back/top to the front/bottom

Worked all the way through to the forground, first pass anyway. I've taken a couple of days to look at it and see what bugs me. I want to do a little more work on the far big rock, it's looking too flat to me, the mid ground water needs something. If it were that smooth it would be reflecting like the little pools are. In the reference that area is has little wind ripples all through it. I need some more water pools in the mid area and the streaks of sunlight vs shadow need some work, grassy area needs texture. The path is too symetrical, I'm making more of a path than the reference has, but I need it to have more of a curve off to the right, and more indication of sunlight on it in some areas. Finally, trying to decide if there is too much contrast in the shadow vs light.

Okay, I think I'm happy with it now. I'll check it again in the morning. Hope they like it! :)

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