Friday, October 2, 2009
New Painting - BICYCLE AT THE BEACH
As we move into autumn, it is so much fun to paint a scene reminiscent of an idyllic summer. I painted a small watercolour study of this scene earlier and it has already sold. This time I enlarge the format to 16X20 inches on canvas using acrylic paint. The format permitted me to include the distant shoreline. With this painting I listened to some counsel that I have recently received from well known artist Peter Etril Snyder. Customarily I anticipate what I will put on a surface by sketching the scene, making a plan. Then of course it becomes a fill in the blanks exercise - kind of a glorified colouring book. I haven't wanted my paintings to look like that. Snyder calls this front loading and he encouraged me to move away from this tendency. Here I painted in the sky and sea with solid colours which I mixed to suit my warm summer light. I decided not to detail the water at all. Then I scrubbled in the grasses that would be behind the fence. I covered the water with a towel and then shook a brush wet with paint on the grasses to create the impressions of flowers. I proceeded to paint in a solid sand colour for my path to the beach. I then again covered water and grasses with a towel and did what this inferior photo does not show. I covered the sand with tiny multi coloured spots of sand and stone drops of paint that I made by tapping a wet brush above the canvas sand. I scribbled a couple of bicycles on paper, cut them out and tried them on the canvas for size to see which size would look best in the frame. Then I pencilled in the rear wheel where I wanted to position the bike and I began to paint a bicycle. It's the kind of rusty handled old bike I saw at the beaches on the north coast of France, Normandy and Guernsey. Once the bike was completed I painted in the fence posts, the dark shade colour first for the entire post and followed that with a light colour to give the impression of sunlit sides. The last thing to be painted were the shadows of posts on the uneven sand - shadows cast from the posts on the opposite side of the path. It's a simple painting but the actual piece is compelling and hangable. Colours are vibrant. The online photo does not do it justice. In one of my gallery frames, 2 1/2 inch espresso colour with a 2 1/2 inch white liner, it will be impressive. I like it.