Friday, October 4, 2013

Wave Study #60: Puny Waves

© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #60, 6"x8", oil on canvas
After the strong fall storm we had last weekend where the waves got up to about 25 feet, today's waves were very disappointing. They were about 2 ft high and very few. The water was beautiful though and the winds were light. The sunshine was, well, warmish. It seems like the storm brought not only wild weather but fall temperatures and fall light. High tide today was around noon. Not the best time to paint as the light flattens out. I arrived at my usual painting spot about 10 am and watched the waves for a bit while deciding how and what to paint. The clouds were a lovely shade of pale lavender at the horizon and there were many reflections in the water, just not very many waves.
I decided to focus on the layers of value (lights and darks), or tone, and on getting some of the reflection. I also tried to get a view with a slight angle and even drew an arrow in paint detailing the direction the waves were traveling. I wasn't exactly successful with the wave direction. In the process of working the painting they straightened out a bit too much.
There was also another challenge. To get the angled view, my easel had to  be positioned with the morning light falling full on the canvas. Just to clarify, I am on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean. I kept the challenges that the situation creates firmly in mind and checked my painting progress frequently by looking at the painting in shadow, off to the side, and squinting to make sure the values weren't too dark..
This was a two hour painting but I took my time and gave more thought than I usually do to my painting decisions. I also remembered to squint and stand back more often than I usually do.
Over all, I am pleased. There is plenty of room for improvement though. I got the values pretty close but they can still use a tiny bit of tweaking.
When I was sitting and observing the values  before I started painting I realized that I have been getting the values some of the reflections too light in general. It can be easy to do. There is also more of a range of values overall. I am starting to see some of these things while painting the sea en plein air now. It "only" took me 60 wave studies to see this much! I have forty more studies to go to reach 100. The studies will continue past 100 but I will start making more finished paintings after I complete the first 100.
It was a joy to get out to paint again. I feel stronger and healthier every day. I can almost walk at my normal pace with my pack on. I still go carefully. I don't want to get careless and have any set backs at this point.
This weekend is packed with performing music with the band and my monthly shopping trip up the coast. I will be back to painting and drawing on Monday. Have a great weekend everyone and stay safe.

-R.L. Delight


Cindie said...

So happy to see you painting again and well on the road to recovery.

R. Delight said...

Thank you Cindie! I am happy and grateful to be back.

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