Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tonight I am going to show the several stages of a painting I made recently. This is a little one, an 11 x 14. I don't always draw a monochrome study under a painting but I do sometimes, especially when I am worried about how to work the thing out. In this case I had a lot of changes I wanted to make. and the light was coming and going, I got fog and I got rained on. I made up about half of this painting. I will show you a couple of photos of the real location down the page a ways.

There is no white at all in the paintiing at this point. I am using ultramarine and a little burnt sienna , I paint it in and wipe back with my rag and mineral spirits.

I have painted on this location before. Although it was high tide when I was on the location, it was low tide in my painting. I wanted to get that dark and grave foreground. That would set up the design for me to light a path across the middle ground. The couple in the middle distance actually walked by and joked about me putting them in my picture. I did too, but they never knew it. I like the gesture I got for her, she looks to be striding enthusiastically along with a hint of goofiness. There is a lot of careful measurement and plotting of the various elements in the sketch at this point. I pushed it around for about about 2 hours before I committed to using opaque paint. Since it was grey it didn't change much. Several times the sun did come out and I used the effect when it lit up the area in the middle of the painting.

Here I have started to block in the big masses. I am using a big #10 brush to do all this. I also have a rigger for drawing little lines.I am trying to everything simply and very quickly because at this point it began to rain and I thought I was going to get chased out. But then it stopped and the light came out again and lit the area I wanted to make my punchline.

There is what I brought back to my car at the end of the day. I will probably clean it up in the studio when it is dry. I may even see something in it that looks really wrong that I didn't notice before. I sometimes work on them a lot in the studio, at other times only a little.

The elapsed time out there was about 5 hours. In that time I had about four different kinds of weather and constantly changing light. Here is what the location actually looked like.

And here it is with a little fog!

I would show you the rain but I wanted to keep my camera dry. As you can see I pushed this thing around a lot. I made a painting there. I did not "paint the day" or copy nature uncritically.

14 comments:

DennyHollandStudio said...

I love this "behind-the-scenes" stuff, how paintings are born. Looks like 5 hours well spent. Don't we have great jobs?!

Gregory Becker said...

Interesting the way you gathered a design.
I love seeing the process.

Rae O'Shea said...

More, please. I like watching how you construct a painting.

mariandioguardi.com said...

Hi Stapleton,
I always love to watch process and progress. Good Luck with that one.

I didn't know about the Revere artists. I had just started learning about art when I lived in Revere. I didn't even know that Rembrandt was the same artist as van Rijin! I was just trying to keep my head above the water and I don't mean H2O. Revere was my step up into the world after having lived in Chelsea. I do have an 1856 wood block etching(?)of Chelsea Beach. I also have an East Boston laundry line painting from a NY WPA-Ash Can school artist,Guido Borghi, who painted briefly in East Boston (my home town). I'd like to be on the look out for a Revere artist's work of that time, so any info you could give me there would be greatly appreciated.

willek said...

Stape. Do you always lean toward cool in your underpainting, or are there times you like a warm beginning? I used to think that a cool wipeaway would be better for sunless days and watrm for sunny, but now I just do warm all the time, so little of it seems to be evident in the finished work. That scene. I probably would have walked right by it, based on the photo, but what you are doing with it is great. WillEK

Jeremy Elder said...

I really like that bright spot in the middle and the counter change it provides for the figures.

I understand your choice for minimizing the water too, more water would have made the painting too much about water. Perhaps that is why Seago portrayed the Themes a lot at low tide? He wanted to focus on other elements instead of the water?

jeff f said...

I'm glad to see that you blue to draw the motif. I do as well and I personally think that using umbras or and earth tones is a bit counter intuitive. Umbras push forwad and blues move away.

Great painting as well, I like how you moved the shore line.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Denny:
Thanks, more behind the scenes stuff. My employer is a fool.
.................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Gregory;
Thanks, more process tonight.
........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Rae:
I intend to pull the process apart a little more tonight.
..............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Marian:
I am afraid I don't know much either. I saw a book on them once but don't own it.If I find out any more I will let you know.
.................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Willek;
I do both warm and cool underpaintings and I can give good reasons for doing it in either way. I am goiung to talk about why I did what I did in that painting tonight.
................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Jeremy. All of that stuff at low tide is interesting. I seldom paint high tide. Often seascape painters work at low tide.
.............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Jeff:
I am going to do a post on underpainting in a day or so.Thanks for ther compliment on the painting.
....Stape