Monday, February 7, 2011

"fishin' buddies" and an "ah-ha"moment

finished painting "fishin' buddies"
true epiphanies are rare later in life, but "ah-ha" moments are frequent enough to keep one's eye peeled. you can't find what you don't look for.  i had one of those "ah-ha" moments while looking at the sky in this painting and trying to figure out what was bothering me about it...and something was bothering me! when i describe this moment to you most of you will probably have a "well, duh" moment.  but here it is anyway. we all know that shadows on objects are away from the light.  if the object is white there is a rim of the object that is white with a fairly large part of it pigmented, frequently a gray of some temperature. clouds are objects....ta, da (time for the first duh) and, in the case of cumulus, are white to boot. in our painting the sun is up and to the right.  so the object (cloud) should have a rim of white on the right and upper surface (facing the sun) with a large part of it in shadow and therefore various values and temperatures of gray down and to the left (away from the sun). in the initial stages of the painting i have put the gray parts willy-nilly without much regard to the light source. if i had "seen" what the photo was telling me rather than relying on my mind's perception of what a cloud looked like, i wouldn't have made this mistake and the sky would have looked better to me. in this next and final iteration of this painting i tried to fix it as best as i could, but really to be entirely correct it probably needs to be done over. so my lesson for the day is to see what you are looking at and treat clouds as objects that light plays with just like any other.

so, aside from this, i darkened some of the washes because they looked a bit puny and insipid to me, added the foreground and finished the birds. the reflections of the sky in the water are not entirely accurate, still but give us a good idea that it is reflected in the water.  the birds could use a few more tie-ins with some more lost edges. all in all, though, i like the end result and it does feel like the day i took the pictures. 

just a note about water.  in a landscape most objects get darker as they come forward.  as a rule of thumb (which may have many exceptions), water that is more than a few feet deep usually gets lighter as it moves toward the observer.  if it is shallow water one can see through it and see the bottom in which case it may look darker.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, it turned out beautifully!
    Perfect subject matter, the water looks great I love all the colors and textures.