Wednesday, September 11, 2013


10" x 8" oil on panel

You can view and purchase this painting here.

This is a departure for me - I rarely paint figures. I liked this scene from a photo I took on a beach vacation a few years ago. It was a very warm sunset, with incredibly orange light falling on everyone, but the water outside was still cool and green. 

I've pulled out this photo a few times and considered painting it, and never quite settled on a composition I liked. Sometimes you have to stop trying to tell the whole story, and just tell part of it. Here's the original photo (I blurred the faces to protect everyone's anonymity). There are all kinds of possible ways to crop this scene. I like all those pretty pastel colors on the left, where the people are sitting outside.  That could be its own painting.

I zoomed in a lot and simplified the scene.

Initial sketch. Trying to decide how many bottles and plates to include.

A temperature/value underpainting. It's all warm - even the purple has a lot of red in it, rather than blue.

Starting the "correct" values on the sunlit areas. Not that different from the underpainting, given how orange-red the light is.

Adding detail in the shadow areas.

Refining the table in the foreground, and the first pass at the tree. I used Viridian, a color I don't use much, but it was perfect for the palm tree. The last bit will be the dishes and glasses, and a string of lights above.

1 comment:

  1. love the painting. you zoomed in on the best part of the photo. love the pink light and that you showed us how you did it.


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