February 3, 2013

First Things First

This is another demo painting from my recent workshop in Santa Barbara (8X10" oil).  One thing I am getting better at as I paint outdoors is paying attention to what is going to change first in the scene I am attempting to capture.

This is a tidal slough, and the water level changes very rapidly - more rapidly than the light movement.  So - I painted the reflective water first.  Sure enough, within twenty minutes the water level had changed significantly.   A breeze also picked up and changed the water surface.

The shadows on the cliff face were all going to change next, so I painted them second - the sandy beach and the bushes above were last on the list because they were not going to change as quickly, or as much....and so on.

Birds were everywhere on location, and I though they would add interest and scale to the painting, so they were put in at the very end, once everything in the background was sorted out.  Of course birds never hold still, so you have to just watch them, and then use your visual memory to try to get the shapes to read.

Always put first things first - it will go better for you, both in life and in painting.

All the best to all of you,

1 comment:

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