Spent a few more hours on this today - really enjoyed myself a lot more than the struggle I went through the previous day. Seems to be coming together pretty well now. Was really happy about the loose painting of the sky. I was intending it to be the rough blockin, but I loved its energy so much I jumped on my right hand and held it to the floor for a while so it couldn't get all detailed on me. Putting that dark layer of blue down first has really paid of it the rich colour we can see now.
The trickiest part of the painting today were the reflections in the water (which I don't think are quite finished just yet), because I needed in this case to make the blue just very slightly lighter than the sand beneath, and as the sand gets lighter towards us I had to adjust the blue to suit. I've darkened the sky more than the photo to make the foreground appear even brighter, so I couldn't really rely on the colours in photo to guide me, which is normally a bad idea anyway. Another tricky part is getting the shapes of the ripples correct, so for that I was keeping a really close eye on my photo reference as I painted.
I'm pretty happy with how the trunk and branches are coming along. The idea I'm following is that as the forms roll around towards the sky they get a lot bluer and slightly lighter, and as they roll towards the foreground they get warmer from light reflected of the sand. So it's a nice warm/cool relationship developing there, making for a more vibrant image. Had to be careful as always to not make my reflected lights too light - they should generally never be as light as anything in the light.
You can see I've made a bit of orange space for Luke to sit on the right hand side of the trunk, changing his position in the photo and I'll leave Danielle in the same spot. This is to give more room for the light on the main trunk to do its thing and to make Luke more visible too.
When I'm painting loosely like this I'm constantly thinking about variation. Variation in line, shape, hue, chroma, value, texture, edges and paint application. Our natural inclination is to make everything as uniform and symbolized as possible so it's a constant mental struggle to keep painting with variation in mind, but it's well worth it in the end.
Well I'm off for a swim - gotta savour summer while it's here eh.
Below is the progress from whoa to go:
All the best,
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