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 Veronica Summers on May 25, 2011 at 15:08
I love the light water effects you've done its a beautiful painting and ahs done it good justice - sometimes stark contrast works better than subtle light changes, I learned this recently at our Painting group from a senior painter..".works for me, I said! "
Comment by Dorian Aronson on April 15, 2011 at 16:20

 "in the end I took a big brush and a load of white paint to it and obliterated it" Thanks for the info. Have wondered how you go about changing what you want and wish you would instruct on how to make changes in a work in progress. (scrape it off, wash it off let it dry and paint over it etc.?) I look forward to getting the video for this when it is available.

I love the final  foreground and the back ground. Lightning the center sky background made the light reflecting foreground water perfect.Wonderful, delicious painting.

Comment by Maria S Cabrero on April 5, 2011 at 12:49
=) lol, dam you may be right forgot all about harmony.....
Comment by Richard Robinson on April 5, 2011 at 11:09
Eating might have to take precedence over painting. Looking at getting some land close to here, maybe a communal plot. Lots of options.
Comment by diane boucher on April 5, 2011 at 10:37
By the way I still like the lighter brighter colour sceme. I think the white at the bottom actually fades the picture away and draws your eye to the brighter and more detailed part of the work. But as Peter says what would I know. I guess you like what you like:)
Comment by diane boucher on April 5, 2011 at 10:33
Mmmm where are you going to keep the animals or is it going t be vegan??? Big veg garden will save having a lawn mower BUT I'm not sure when you will have time to PAINT!
Comment by Richard Robinson on April 5, 2011 at 9:50

:-) LOL. Thanks everyone for your comments - good to hear your thoughts. It can always be better, or different at least. Part of me does prefer the previous warmer colour in the foreground, but part of me prefers the new more harmonious colour scheme. Can't have everything I guess. Beautiful scene to play around with and so I will be shooting the second video of me painting a 10x8" study of this today, which I'm looking forward to, with some trepidation. If I get the shakes it might add to the brushwork. Actually I met a lovely lady in a rainforest once who had Parkinsons or something which made her wobble a bit and it gave her a beautiful energy in her paintings. Now I'm rambling.

Thanks guys. Rock on.


Oh, by the way, I'm thinking about going all Eco-vilage, Amish, Self Sufficient, etc. Anybody out there worried about an economic collapse in their country and planning ahead for it? Just bought a big cache of canned goods and rice etc. as a buffer - step 1.

Comment by Stephen Rice on April 5, 2011 at 0:51
Hi Richard, I reframed your painting on my screen, deleting the bottom portion of white, and I think this improves the painting; the foreground water and the white are too distracting, I think.  Stephen.
Comment by Karlo Bonacic on April 4, 2011 at 21:58
Beautifull painting! Me too prefer this Yellow - orange - golden foreground with strong contrast to Blue...Thanks Richard !
Comment by Richard Robinson on April 4, 2011 at 13:22
Thanks Maria. I hadn't thought of the foreground like that - I just wanted it to fade away to canvas. Interesting getting a different take on it.


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