Painting 'Northland Summer' - Finished!

"Northland Summer" - Oil on Canvas - 30x30"

Hi All,
finally got around to finishing this studio painting. If you remember from the previous installment I just wasn't happy with the water and reflections in the foreground despite several sessions on it, so in the end I took a big brush and a load of white paint to it and obliterated it. Then I did a couple of smaller studies to work on some ideas and tried to figure out a better way to do it.


When it came to getting the shapes of the reflections right I was copying from a photograph and STILL found it very confusing, so I turned the photo and painting on their sides and found that much easier to see it all as a pattern of shapes rather than ripples in water. I also blurred the photo on the screen so that I wasn't confused by all the detail. In the end, I think it could still be a lot better, but it could also be a lot worse, and I tend to know when to stop when I'm not getting any more joy out of the painting - that fine line where more work begins to take away from the painting instead of adding to it.


The difficulty in painting water in a loose manner like this is attempting to capture the intricacy of the rippled reflections while keeping the brushwork fresh and lively. Looks to me like it got a bit stodgy in places - and that's where my lack of experience shows up (to me at least). I found water effects much easier to achieve in the small scale studies. I've had enough experience with this subject now that it will be the subject of my next dvd, which I'm currently working on and I'll let you know when it's ready.

 I used the photograph side on and blurred to help me see the shapes of reflections easier.

Working on the water. Note the small study paintings for colour reference. 



Below is the progress from whoa to go:




Interested buyers may view more information here:


All the best with your painting guys. I hope seeing me struggle through this one has helped you in some way with your own painting adventures.


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Comment by Maria S Cabrero on April 4, 2011 at 12:36
I liked it and liked the addition of the mountain on the background although I think that the yellow on the foreground gave it more contrast, my personal opinion. Over all I like it, but doesn't make sense the tranquil water and then the splash at the front....but it does give it a different approach or look ;)
Comment by diane boucher on April 3, 2011 at 13:56
Love the finished painting Richad It was worth doing the water again.


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