Break it Down
We have many elements available to us to bring into
paintings. How do we paint them is the eternal question? Direct observation is the primary source but it’s darn hard to remember exactly what is happening since there is simply too much going on. To break it down is very, very hard. My answer is photographs with observation. For some reason the brain might not be able to process all the detail but it does seem to absorb the broad content sufficient enough to give you a flying start to de-engineer something.
To the naked eye a photograph is an
everyday item looked at from a foot or so away. There is much more especially with the magnifier hanging over it with full sunlight spilling across the image. I go into the sun and look very hard and nine times out of 10 I’ll get enough information to not just work out what’s going on, but how it happens, and how then to paint it. It’s very simple really. The key is the magnifier, sunlight and common sense!
Rock shelf and water as seen through the magnifier, good enough to do this.
And this section tells me enough to do more broken water effects.