Water has been pretty scarce across the middle of the country this year.
Fortunately, it’s plentiful in this painting from a week ago. Work on this piece got underway as soon as the paint dried on the “Up the Hill” picture (see this post, and suggest a caption).
The palette is a little brighter, and a little bluer. More importantly, the paint application is a little looser. There are fewer layers of overlapping color, and therefore a markedly less muddy look.
Just what one would hope for in a sea-scape like this.
The composition is based on a black-and-white photograph from a book on “Great Photographers”. Unfortunately, someone forgot to take a photo of the source photo. I’ll try to get that up in the following post.
The original had one or two more figures in the boat, and the scene was much less ambiguous. The men were just paddling to or from a larger ship where they worked, presumably.
I reconfigured the placement of the men, added the color, and made some tweaks here and there. The inspiration for the color of the choppy sea was from examples I found in three different watercolor instruction books that had been hanging around the studio. Like the hill piece, I wanted the tense action to be taking place in cheerful weather.
The water turned out very successfully. One of the fun parts is how the waves become deeper in color on the shadow side of the boat. The sea spray is also fun.
Perhaps the best part of the illustration is the varied stances of the men on the boat.
All of them seem to be confronting things bravely, but handle their situation (whatever it is) differently. The central character plants himself firmly against waves, the upper left man seems balanced, but aloof. Just beneath him, the one in the hat is thrown by the waves, but seems determined to keep his footing, while the wide-eyed young guy on the right provides the best indication that some very bad is going down.
But what could it be? Let me know what *YOU* think is going on in this picture. What do you like about it?
In the next post, I’ll walk through the process of making this picture, with the most extensive collection of preparatory studies undertaken thus far.
See you then.