My initial drawing
I’m tackling a new subject. I’m a landscape and architecture painting, and now I’m including people in some detail in a landscape painting. Last summer, we sailed our boat “Bama Breeze” several times on Creve Coeur Lake in St. Louis County, Missouri, USA. It’s a nice little sailing lake. It also has a nice paved path encircling the lake for walking, skating, cycling, etc. My palette (oils) is cadmium yellow medium, Windsor red, purple lake, pthalo blue, sap green, Permalba white, and optical black. I try to use a limited palette, to make it simpler for me, and to create more unity in the painting. I’m using a bit of cadmium yellow for my influence color. At first, I drew the subjects in detail with graphite, then sprayed it with workable fixative to maintain my drawing. I put down an imprimatura in Payne’s gray with Liquin medium. That way it doesn’t run. The result is on the side.
Jonathan is manning the tiller in the background. That boy has got some legs – his knee actually shows on the other side of the mast, even though you can’t see it in this drawing. He is 17. Andrew, who is nine, is on the right side. They are both looking down.
just starting on the actual painting - sky and rigging
Here, I have done the imprimatura, and have started by painting the sky, mast, lines, and hardware. I don’t yet have the hilights – those come last. I had a rather hard time painting wet on wet (imprimatura hadn’t yet dried). I’m happy with the colors in the mast. I mixed yellow and red, then some optical black to reduce the chroma. The mast became warmer and lighter as it got closer to the hull, because of the sun reflecting off of the boat deck. This is a wooden boat, that was hand built. Later, I could see that the shadow side of the sail in the upper left corner was too dark. I will be adding clouds to the sky later.
third day of the painting
Here is what I did today. First, I corrected the sail shadow. I changed the proportions of sunlit sail to sail in shadow to improve the composition, and refined the highlights in the sail. As you can see, the sail is slack, as we were in the middle of a tack. It’s starting to look like the bright, warm, sunny day that it was. I put in the background trees, the caps, the clothing, and the interior of the hull. I like the way that Jonathan’s body is leaning forward at a tilt, and you can see how the rudder is turned all the way to the side, as it would be during a tack. Notice how the white boat interior reflects the warmth of the sun, even though it is not in direct sunlight.
Can you see why I’m calling this painting Singin’ the Blues? I don’t know if I will keep this as the title or not.