Sunday, April 24, 2011

228 Salt Marsh Sunrise Children on the Beach - Paintings Progress

This post is a bit different, but don't worry, there is a nice 4 x 6 oil painting at the end.
I want to show you a painting as it goes through various stages from start to finish. This is a 24 x 30 oil on canvas of a brother and sister at the beach. The photograph that is the basis for this painting was taken by their mother a number of years ago. Is it wrong for me to say that she waited until she found the right artist to capture her vision?
The photo was taken in the late afternoon, a great time to capture the warm light from the setting sun without the squinting in bright sunlight that we get earlier in the day. Usually around here at the North Carolina beaches it also means that you get a grey color to the sand. No problem, we can capture both the light on the figures and on the surrounding beach.

As you can see, the canvas was toned with a warm dull yellow color. The figures were drawn in, the some of the dark and light accents were placed on the canvas give me reference values.

More of the surrounding was sketched in and work begun on the sky and sea. Some color is added to her dress since it is an accent color, taht is, it is different from the colors in the rest of the painting

Many of these photos were taken with a phone, usually when I suddenly remembered that I was documenting this painting. Usually I take a few at the beginning and then the painting takes over and I forget to photograph. Luckily you are able to see this one progress evenly. The camera phone and the fact that I worked on this painting at different locations is the reason for the change in colors that you notice from one photo to the next.

Here the sky and sea are pretty much complete. Working on them first means I won't have to paint around the figures later. Creating a soft look and then leaving it alone as the rest of the painting is worked on helps keep the sky and sea in the background and helps form a sense of depth to the painting.

You can see in this photo that work has begun on the children. The beach in the background has been painted in colors a bit cooler than the sand in the dunes. This helps keep it back where it belongs with the surf and sky. The dune grass has been begun. The dark masses of the grass are important in keeping the composition from becoming to static.

More of the grass has been added and I am now happy with sand in the foreground is coming along.

A closer look. Work has begun on the children and their clothes

More work to the grasses, sand and the children

Features have been added to the boy's face. This is the hard part. To capture the likeness and expression with impressionistic brush strokes takes a lot more planning and work than you would think.

Here is a closer look at the children.

To be continued.......(until the painting is finished)

Now, the painting I promised, this is morning light at the coast....Low Country salt marsh morning.

Salt Marsh Sunrise
4 x 6 Oil on Canvas
$100. Shipping included

Each painting is an original, one of a kind. Once it's sold, it is gone. Click on the button above to pay with paypal or credit card.Or contact me directly at: steve at
A donation to Danny and Ron's Rescue will be made for every painting sold.
Continue on this journey with me and see what's in store for tomorrow.

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