PTO Beach: #2

I screwed up on the perspective of the waves. But I like the colors overall.

I started off using masking fluid which again, I used way too much of. I thought, “If I use too much masking fluid, then I can always go back and add color later.” This is a mistake because it messes with the primary wash. When I leave the primary wash over the masking fluid, as the wash dries, it pools at the edges of the masking fluid. As it pools the surface tension of the water seems to pool pigment from the surrounding wash into the pool. Later when I remove the masking fluid, I get the whites that I’m after, but they are surrounded by deep values from the wash. If I want to add color to the white where the masking fluid was afterward, I have to either sften those dark values and risk creating big blossoms in the wash, or I have to add color as dark as the value around the masking fluid which ruins the value structure that I was trying to establish with the primary wash. The answer isn’t to just not use masking fluid, instead I need to use it appropriately. No surprise there I guess.

The painting is almost entirely Phthalo Blue and Burnt Sienna. The sky was a semi-circle of Phthalo Blue and a smidge of Burnt Sienna, which I brought down to the horizon with a spray bottle.

At the horizon I knew I wanted to emphasize the amount of atmosphere between the viewer and the island in the background, without any atmosphere I know that island would be green. In order to make it look like there was a bunch of atmosphere between the viewer in the island, I needed to make the island look more blue. If I simply add blue to green, I get something that’s more vibrant blueish green. That’s not the color that I’m after because it makes the island appear closer than further away. So I thought why doesn’t a blue-green island look far away? Well i learned from MuralJoe that orange sunlight plus blue atmosphere, makes a brown/green turn now i know the color i want to see, but how do i make it? I have a green island affected by Orange light, and a blue atmosphere. But I cant just mix orange blue and green, because I’ll get brown. Imstead, I have to mix compliments to get grey. According to Bruce, the compliment of Phthalo Blue is Burnt Sienna. By controlling the amount of burnt sienna that I add to the blue I can control how blue or brown the grey will be. I settled for something very neutral in order to make the island appear almost completely gray so that I could make it look like there was a lot of atmosphere between the viewer and the island.

The waves are a mess. I completely ignored the rule of halves and doubles, and as a result the Ocean looks like a junior high kid who doesn’t know how to brush his own hair.

The rocks I’m close to happy with. (More burnt Sienna, less Phthalo Blue) they still look a little flat to me, but I really like the green moss. I think that makes the sun appear to really be resting on the face of the rocks. I wanted to get green out of my Phthalo/Burnt Sienna grey. I now know adding green will make it more brown, so instead I added yellow to make it appear green. Víola! This Bruce MacEvoy thing is really helping.

The sand, I tried to add a reflection in an attempt to make the sand appear wet. This almost worked, but it looked too wet. So I dragged my brush perpendicular to the reflection hoping to get the sand to show under the reflection, but I went before the reflection had dried the right amount of time. That just moved the pigments and made a cloudy stripe. So I waited, and tried the palette knife, but that just made dark scratches (I had overworked the paper by then.) So I waited longer than I thought I had to, and THEN I dragged a bush of clean water, and that gave me the line I was looking for. (Though it was now surrounded by dark scratches and a cloudy stripe.)

The birds were masking fluid, and a tiny swipe of blue-grey.

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