My Art in the Mak­ing #2

International Artist - - Representing The Real -

STAGE 1 A hori­zon about mid­way will give me a good look at the story of two fig­ures I have in mind. I use the fan brush to block in, tak­ing my lead from the col­ors in the photo. STAGE 2 After that ini­tial flurry I quickly go to a blue-tinted grey for the up­per sky, while closer to the hori­zon the grey shifted slightly into a red grey. I throw in a bold, high value yel­low grey for some clouds. Us­ing these col­ors I drop down into the wet sand and fashion in the grey that is re­flected by this mir­ror zone. All this done in six to seven min­utes. STAGE 3 I add a dark head­land and bring some of the color into the waves and vice versa by throw­ing some of the wa­ter blue into the above land­form. Know­ing the wa­ter is also a re­flec­tive sur­face to the sky I bring the sky col­ors into the wa­ter with bro­ken hor­i­zon­tal strokes. Where it thins to the beach I shape some gen­tle waves jump­ing to a near white on the sand it­self for a swash wave. STAGE 4 Like the pre­vi­ous paint­ing I don’t de­velop this “land­scape” any fur­ther but go quickly to putting in the fig­ures. With a rag I wipe away the paint to clear the area for the first and dom­i­nant fig­ure. STAGE 5 With the Mar­i­lyn liner brush I sketch in and block the fig­ure. I am about 40 min­utes into the paint­ing and make each stroke pur­pose­ful and as ac­cu­rate as I can. Since this is the ini­tial layer I will most likely drift out­side the imag­i­nary out­line of the fig­ure but as ev­ery­thing is still wet I will have no prob­lem cut­ting back to the cor­rect the ex­cess. STAGE 6 Since the paint is very thin—like wa­ter­color—it hard­ens quickly, so after a short time I’m able to go in again with the first shad­ows and high­lights to fur­ther de­velop the fig­ure. As I do this I walk back the mag­i­cal 10 feet, squint and as­sess my progress. This is the dis­tance to judge your ef­fec­tive­ness at the easel—not at 3 feet! All my fig­ure work is one with the help of my mag­ni­fier. This is the must-have in my tool­box. STAGE 7 I re­peat the same process for the sec­ond fig­ure. The march to the end in­volves about three lay­ers of shadow and high­light, but be­tween each I re­turn to the sur­round­ing parts of the paint­ing and de­tail them in both shape and value. It’s im­por­tant to bring the sur­rounds out at the same time as the fig­ures and to make sure, by walk­ing back the 10 feet, the fig­ures al­ways dom­i­nate. Add the birds and presto—just un­der 2 hours—a pretty good paint­ing! How much grey? About 65 per­cent and of that about 30 per­cent a slight mauve.

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