'Waipu Cove Stream' - 8x10" - Oil on Board
Hi guys, had a sweet day to day - the surf AND sky looked good at Waipu Cove so I took my surfboard and my paints, had a nice little surf, read a book with some coffee at the cafe and then did this juicy little painting in the shade of a tree. Picked up the kids at 3pm, home for a catchup and a cuppa in the hammock. Sweeet!
Tried some new things in this painting. First of all I wanted to make a slightly higher key painting, which means raising the value of all your darks. I didn't go the whole hog like a lot of impressionist paintings, but just raised my darkest value by a step or two in the shade of the central green clump. I can't remember if I've consciously done this before or not, but I did find it tricky and I'm not sure if I fully achieved what I was after, but I did in the end like the overall slightly brighter effect in the painting. It was only a subtle change and might not display for you with the same contrast as what I'm seeing on my computer. So that was the first thing I was thinking about.
Secondly, I was trying again to paint on board, rather than canvas, and explore the possibilities of brushwork available in working on a smooth and relatively non-absorbent surface. (3 layers of acrylic house primer over MDF - 'medium density fibreboard'). I feel like all this plein air painting I've been doing is really starting to show results here. Again, it's by no means the greatest painting in the world, but I'm really beginning to see things in the real world almost translating themselves into different types of paint application without having to think too hard about it - like a musician playing by feel rather than reading from music. I love the potential for super smooth vs super crisp paint on this board. Canvas with any sort of tooth tends to smooth out paint edges a little, but with this smooth board it's almost too easy to create razor sharp edges, which contrast so nicely with lost atmospheric edges like in the distant hills in this painting.
Sorry I don't have any resource photos or progress shots to show you with this one - I turned on the camera and it said to my dismay, 'Please insert memory card', albeit very politely. Maybe this one from a previous outing will give you an idea though:
I actually nearly threw in the towel on this painting. 15 minutes into it I really felt like I'd lost the plot. I thought I'd blown it with the idea of raising the darks, and the colours just seemed to be all smooshing into each other and creating a big mess. Thankfully I didn't wipe it though. I re-centred myself and began painting what I felt the painting needed, rather than just logically trying to push through the problem (which often works too though). A few minutes after that it seemed to start falling together, and I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom I felt throughout the rest of the painting, which took about 1.5 hours in total to complete. Thought you might like to know that for me it is very rarely plain sailing doing a painting - I often feel nervous (but excited at the same time) beginning a painting, and as someone else has said, 'a painting is a record of corrections'.
I hope you're finding the time to paint and enjoy this beautiful creative process I love so much.
All the best,
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