Friday, July 11, 2014

Nothing to Beach About, the painting

Nothing to Beach About     © 2014 Joan T. Terrell, artist
Original oil painting on 6" x 6" gessobord® panel

I liked the photo of the Piedmont Girls near Myrtle Beach and decided to turn it into a painting.

I shifted the composition slightly so the yellow umbrella wouldn't be smack dab in the middle. Here's the pencil sketch. Have you ever noticed how some times the ocean looks like the sky and vice versa? It's usually windy at the beach (read "a bad hair day every day" here) and I wanted to emphasize the wind blowing. We had worked really hard at anchoring that umbrella and it wasn't going anywhere. Our towels and sunglasses, though, that's another story!

Here's the colorful under painting. I used magenta in the foreground because I knew the sea grass would be mainly dark green and wanted some of that brightness stepping out between brush strokes. Red and green are opposites (complementary colors) on the color wheel, so they help each other "pop" when used together. Well, not when mixed together. When opposites are mixed together, nice rich gray/brown neutrals occur. I  turned the blue towel blowing from the back of the chair to a red one because I really like the color red. 

I used a good-sized brush almost throughout the whole painting (a #8 Princeton flat) and united the chair shadows so the chairs wouldn't look like Chiclets® dotting the shoreline.

Here's another look at the final. Maybe I chose this photo because I just treated myself to a luscious tube of Gamblin Thalo Turquoise. H-mmmm, come to think of it, in addition to red, I love blue. I used blue in the under painting of the ocean instead of its opposite (yellow) because I wanted to preserve those glorious blues. If I had glazed or washed blue over the top of a yellow ocean under painting, the color would have been more green. Although greenish is more the color of the Atlantic ocean, I was anxious to try out that turquoise and it didn't disappoint. Same with the umbrella and the sandy beach. Didn't want to risk those turning green. See what I mean? Look at the overstroke between the chairs in the photo above. This happened when the turquoise blue glazed over the yellow sand. No worries. Having the blue water near the yellow umbrella is enough color wheel thinking for a while.

Remember that little tidal pool on the left in the under painting? As kids, we used to love looking for crabs and periwinkles trapped in those pools during tide changes. They were just waiting for high tide to come again and rescue them. It didn't look quite right having a splash of blue there among the rich sandy neutrals and since I didn't want ol' crabby coming out and latching onto one of those toes, decided to remove it.

No worries, high tide is at 10:17 p.m. tonight and it's a full moon. Meet you there! You're bringing the fireworks, right?

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