Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Seascape project 2

Here is the sketch for the seascape and the layin for the large version on the right.

Here is what happened to the seascape today. I shot this against the wheel of my car and it is a little dark and too cool, tomorrow night I will shoot it in better light, but that is what I had. The color from last nights shot is still a better representation.

Now you get to see me struggle with this thing.........

I have worked the whole painting. I began working out a more dramatic sky. Darkening that should make the wave stand out better because it won't compete with it for contrast. Also its more threatening mien gives the picture more power. I am hoping to pull the sea and sky together into one large unit. I need to work out a better arrangement of the small dark clouds at the top, I want them rushing to the right, that should help drive the wave towards the shore better.

I am not at all happy with the left hand side of the wave. It still feels like it is "down in the hole" a little bit. I want to lift it up more to the viewers eye level. Tomorrow that will get scraped out and reworked. It has to come up a little bit and the whole thing feels a little small. This is what I call the "in between stage", when the gremlins start to pop out. When I first lay a painting in, it seems easy and it is not until I start to get the thing worked up a little bit that all of the problems that will have to be dealt with appear. The first thing I will do in the morning is scrape the left hand side of the wave with my palette knife, leaving a sort of ghost image. Then I can take another run at it. Sometimes I do that over and over.

I have photography of the rocks, remember I am making up the water, there are no references for that. But I haven't looked at the rock photos yet. I want to design those and not copy a photograph of them I actually have pretty good information in the sketch. Once I get the design completely worked out I will use them to get some details in the rocks, but only a little. Good references can enslave you. I want to use them as little as possible.


Sara Winters said...

This is exciting, Mr. Stape! Thank you so much for sharing your process. said...

Ahh..the struggle, the battle , the fussing and hopefully the mastering. Just when you think it's safe to paint.....Students think they are learning painting so that it will become easier tp paint as they get better. Little do they realize is that what they are learning is the persistence to struggle the rest of their painting lives. Jai Ho - Victory to you.!

willek said...

Yes, you might need a stand-alone, wave encroached rock in the left middle foreground to counterbalance the dark masses on the right... and to break up the regularity of the top of that wave.

billspaintingmn said...

Ok Stape, I took some time this morning looking at this painting.
I'm going to do my 'Chris Farley'
and smash my head into the wall a couple-o-times for my poor comment on the last post.
As I look at how this painting is developing, I already feel myself
That bit of raw seanna(?) at the lower left reads as sand stired up in the water by the beach, I have expireanced that, and this recalls that. Also those rocks remind me of rocks from a Waugh that I have.
The mood and force of that wave has me pinching myself, yes I'm awake!
I've always enjoy a seascape,and
this is one under construction.
(maybe I should've had a hard hat
on before my Chris Farley!)
as always, rivited!

Pat Walker-Fields said...


barbara b. land of boz said...

I think one of the best parts of this blog is the way you are not afraid to lay yourself open to each of us. Your thought process is
a cruical part of your blog. The questions you ask yourself, are the same type of questions I NEED to ask myself. It doesn't come as easy to me as I would like it to.

I agree that reference material can grab at you and not want to let go. So I must learn to TRUST my
memory better. I've been told I have a good one anyway.

I'll let you know about the sandunes. For this I will give the
photos a rest. Keep on Keeping on!

alotter said...

You are a magician with rocks and surf! But I am struggling with the "down in the hole" concept. When I look at both your plein air study and your current painting side by side, the only clue I get as to whether you are standing above the action or in it, is the horizon. Does this mean that you could paint looking down at the hold, but cheat the horizon line and end up with a dramatic painting. Or is something else happening that I am too stupid to notice?

Unknown said...

Thanks for the demo - I always learn a lot from your working process. Plus, "mein" is a new work for me. Yay for vocabulary.

Gregory Becker said...

I love that from your last posts on seascape you taught us bits of languageassociated with it and now that you're doing a demo and using that language it is easier to walk around through your thought process. What a benificial insight to your process. You really are a good teacher Stape.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you.I feel so naked.

Stapleton Kearns said...

The longer you do it, the harder it gets.

Stapleton Kearns said...

No rock, I did break up the top of that wave though.

Stapleton Kearns said...

That sienna note was a bit of my underpainted drawing still showing through. It went away. Maybe I should have kept it.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. i see you got through the system to leave a post.Don't be a stranger!

Stapleton Kearns said...

It s supposed to be hard. Good luck with those dunes. Do you know Hensche? Also William Merrit Chase painted some near dune kind of places.

Stapleton Kearns said...

That is precisely the problem I set out to conquer today.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. Yay,vocabulary

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you.I am delighted you find what I an doing useful.