My latest painting was based on a photograph I took at the Gulfport pier sometime last year. It was a night scene with some people scattered about the railing. Some were fishing, some were just taking in the summer evening. I wanted my rendition to have some fog to bring out the community isolation of all of us there that night. Well, here goes.
First step was do a quick wash over the new canvas. I used a turpentine wash with some cobalt and then painted the whole thing a a combination of ivory black, Payne's gray and a bit of ultramarine blue.
Next, I drew the general design onto the virtually black canvas with a pencil.
The next step was nothing more than painting on the pier, and the figures. It isn't important to get it right at this point, its just important to get the structures and general figures in so you can make sure the placement is OK. Above you can see the floor of the pier has been painted a gray cement color and the first person has been started. There will be 5 people in all when I am through. That white object in the center is a light that shines on the flag; the pole which will be put in later. The fog will highlight the lighting if all goes well. There is a reddish-orange light that they shine on to the flag and I hope I can get that blistering look going through the sky well. You know how lights reflect the moisture in the sky so that lights shine through the air? You'll see.
OK, here you can see the general idea taking form. The picture I took is on the upper left hand corner of the painting for reference. More people are painted in and the lights are starting to take shape.
So here it is on my easel out in the porch. The go reflects the lights on the pier as well as the lights over on the beach.
I will probably do some tweaking on it as I am not happy with a couple things on it, but for the most part it is finished. Again, I can't take pictures of paintings too well, but this is it for better or worse. It is titled, "Foggy Summer Night At The Pier" and is 40"x 30".
Painting is kind of like an exercise in deception. There is a kind of painting called "photo realism" and these artists paint picture-like paintings that make you think they are really photographs. They have steady hands, are versed in shadows and valuations and have enormous talent. Then there are hacks like myself who couldn't do something like that in a million years; but what we can do is give you the illusion, through lights and darks of something you recognize. It's all deception, of course: put a dark color and a light color next to each other in a shape you have seen before and your eye and mind will know that it is an orange shirt, or jeans or a person.
This one took a little longer than the last one, so I am slowing down a bit. I must get back going at full speed again, and so I have my next one drawn out and ready to become something I saw when i was back in G-Burg. But you'll have to wait a bit. Thanks for the company today.