Botanical Beach

Here are a few more steps of the painting I started last week. It's close to completion and I hope that you will enjoy reading about this painting process.


Since the most striking colors of this scene come from the turquoise water, and the orange sunlit foliage in the foreground, I decided to punch up  those two colors as much as possible. My turquoise in the water and sky is a mix of phthalo blue and phthalo green. The orange in the foreground is a mix of ochre yellow and perylene red. Violet-grays in the rocks and clouds are a mix of ultramarine blue and perylene red. Greens in the trees and shrubbery are a mix of ochre yellow, cadmium yellow and ultramarine blue. If you place these pigments on a color wheel, you will find that they are arranged in a nice symmetry so they should work in a painting.


In most of the cases adjustments of color, form and values take the most effort and time in my painting process. I wish it wasn't so, but I haven't figured out yet how to get it all spot on, in one go. I doubt that I ever will. And in any case, making changes can be a fun path of discovery...for the most of the time. When things just aren't coming together and I start feeling frustration, the best thing to do is stop and come back later. Sometimes we get fixated on some particular idea and we don't see a forest from the trees. Coming back after a rest usually allows me to step back and take in the whole thing without prejudice. Either a fresh idea emerges or I realize that what I thought was a problem, isn't a problem after all.

Step 6 - DETAILS

Finally I get to work on those delicious little details that many of us like to fiddle with - the grass, the negative spaces around trees, little shadows and forms in the rocks, highlights, etc. The idea is to add more where it is required, and obfuscate where I have put too much. 

Botanical Beach, acrylic, 30x40

I just got an idea to transition color of rocks from warm to cool as they move from the foreground to the background. Since this would be a big change, I think I should leave the painting alone for a while until I convince myself that the idea is worth pursuing.

Best Wishes,