Monday, 9 April 2012

Painting No 19 - Rosie on Whangamata Beach, NZ

Oil on canvas board - 24" x 18"

Another picture I'd been wanting to do for a long time.  It is also conveniently very similar to the picture we did on my recent course.

I applied a few (by no means all) of the techniques I'd learned from my course, not least of which was to take some artistic license.  Previously I'd largely relied on choosing the right picture to copy to get the composition right but his time I rearranged the picture by compressing it laterally.  The beach is a lot wider in the source picture so I left out the middle section to narrow it.  This meant that I had to reorientate the pools on the left to get the perspective back.

We were taught that lighter colours (tints) help give the impression of distance compared to darker (shades) so I made the beach in the foreground much darker than it appears in real life while gradually lightening it as it receded.  I think it works.

I also used impasto in the nearest waves to give the impression of closeness.  This was made of titanium white paint mixed with chalk.  (I made the chalk powder myself by simply grinding down some pieces of chalk I picked up while out on a run.  We live in the Chiltern Hills so are sitting on millions of tons of the stuff.)

Another technique I used was to apply a light scummble over the sky and the central hills to recede them a little.  (The glare at the top of the picture is not from some Turneresque skill of mine. It's from a light bulb just above the picture).

All in all I'm quite pleased with this (especially as I survived painting my wife from behind!).  It's possibly not as ambitious with the indirect painting techniques as it could be but it's a good start.

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