I am in Bozeman, Montana tonight, a whirlwind trip. My daughter and I are going to ski the last weekend Big Sky is open for the year. It is late and I have spent the whole day on airplanes. So I will be brief. But I AM here!
Above is a little piece of rock from below the light house at Owls Head Maine, near Rockland. I show it because it has great color and presents some real opportunity as a reference shot. But it also has a problem. No water! This is typical of the reference shots I have in my morgue ( an illustrators word for a photo and clippings collection, probably archaic).
I could use this to make a seascape by filling the foreground with surf. I would probably throw a rock or two in the foreground too. So I am going to have an assembled painting with several elements all mixed together. Those elements would be, the cliff above, the water, probably entirely invented, although I might have a breaking wave photo that would be of some but not much use, and that foreground rock. This is pretty typical, I would probably also do a sketch on location if I could.
This would be a great seascape setup, but it hardly gets any surf at all, being in the Penobscot bay and not exposed to the open ocean. But it is great material. That is one of the reasons why it is necessary to be able to mix and match to build your seascapes in the lab. I am routinely adding surf to pictures out of my head, either because there is no surf on that particular day or because the location doesn't really get much surf. If the rocks are good, they present an opportunity and I can fake the rest.
Gotta have sleep, more tomorrow.