The completed work is shown below.
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The completed work is shown below.
The painting was, for all intents and purposes, complete at this point. However, upon inspection of the figure, I decided that a few minor adjustments would improve the piece. And while some contemporary artists insist that painting in Premiere Coup (one coat) is the sign of a true master, I am reminded of the words of two great masters.
“…in regard to the lights: in them the colors may be loaded as much as may be thought requisite. They have substance: it is necessary, however, to keep them pure. This is effected by laying each tint in its place, and the various tints next to each other, so that, by a slight blending with the brush, they may be softened by passing one into the other without stirring them much. Afterwards you may return to this preparation, and give to it those decided touches which are always the distinctive marks of great masters.”
It is reported by his student Palma Giovene that Titian never painted a figure alla prima and that the master used to say:
“He who improvises can never make a perfect line of poetry.”
With this in mind, I am not afraid to make minor adjustments to the work at the end, adding depth to shadows, clarity to highlights, and smoother transition to the middle tones where needed. In this instance, only a very few minor changes were made…and I’m not telling where.
The close up of the figure shown below gives a better view of the colors, values and edges.
As I concluded my evening of painting one night, I was trying to decide exactly how I would paint the light on the ocean. To give me a better sense of the areas of color and value I decided to throw on a simple wash of thin paint down to the bottom of the painting. Knowing that this would be dry when I returned, I knew that I could paint over it as I pleased.
After studying several photos I had of ocean waves at various stages of sunset and sunrise, I painted the darkest parts of the water lighter on the right side of the painting nearest the sun. I reduced the value contrast of the foam in the middle and background by adding subdued purples and blues so that it would not distract from the figure, and I played up the warmth of the foreground shallow water and wet sand.
As I painted the water, I realized that I had the waves rising too high on the land at the left so that my horizon lines on either side of the figure did not align properly. At the same time I had been thinking that the rocky shoreline needed more emphasis. The solution to both problems was to paint more rocks below the land mass, doubling the height of the rocky cliff.
Once the elements that touch the sky are complete and surrounded by color, I can begin the sky itself. I did not have time to complete all this in one sitting, but worked for short periods over several days. Instead of worrying about keeping my colors wet on the canvas to work my edges, I simply worked the edges into the sky color in the immediate area.
At this point, although all the previous paint was dry, I was able to work the sky into the existing areas of flat sky color surrounding the other elements. Since I had already worked the edges of those elements wet into wet, I did not need to worry now about developing hard edges on those elements when painting wet into dry. I simply needed to make sure that my fresh paint blended into the existing flat sky colors rather than butting up directly against the edges of the figure or other elements.
The sky was painted from the warmest area above the sailboat outward to the cooler areas. There is a slight purplish haze on the horizon of the ocean at the bottom, while above the colors move into muted reds, warm violets, and then to cool blues. I used a relatively small brush – a #6 hogshair filbert – to paint the sky, blending back and forth between the colors and letting the visible brushwork create a sense of vibration in the sky.
I continue to paint the elements that touch the sky, surrounding them with an approximation of the color that the final sky will be while keeping in mind the color of the prevailing light.
The land is simplified from my reference and softened to keep it from competing with the foreground figure. I lighten the entire area to reduce value contrast that would draw undue attention, while accentuating the feel of the warm lights and cool shadows. Nonetheless, I keep the colors greyed, limiting their chromatic intensity to compensate for the effects of atmospheric perspective.
Tamara Bonêt has a passion for sculpting what is beautiful, with a focus on faces. She enjoys making each face uniquely special, with a soul or presence to them. Her favorite style is highly refined romantic, lovely ladies with sensitive emotion and a story to tell. She puts her heart into each sculpture and wishes to share her love of beauty with others.
Growing up in Northern California, Tamara focused on art at a very young age and spent many hours perfecting her drawings. In time, she began to sculpt in clay and found that to be her ultimate medium to create in. She is self-taught and has carefully studied the human anatomy. Over the years, she has received useful critiques from master sculptors and through online forums, resulting in a skill level that equals some of the best sculptors in the world today. Because she is primarily self-taught, and with her careful attention to detail, she has developed many of her own specialized techniques that enables her to have a special flair and style.