Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Ocean blue

colour notes notebook
I've been working on this painting on and off for a few weeks now. There have been many, many layers of glaze, some just whispers of colour to gradually build depth. I had the painting in mind for some time and had been working on different colour combinations in my notebook. This page on the right was my initial colour concept but as always it developed as the painting evolved.

To start with I made an under painting of buff titanium on a gessoed piece of MDF, just to block in a vague idea of the main shapes and tones. It's a lovely neutral colour with just a touch of warmth which I wanted to glow through the layers of blue to come.

At this second stage with the basics worked into the sea, I felt that I needed to lighten up the area of sky closest to the horizon which I did with layers of a colour called parchment by Liquitex - a very neutral and cooler cream. Once that was done I could build up the depth in the upper portion of sky. I've used indanthrene blue, indigo and azure in separate glazes varying the intensities as I worked up from the horizon. Rather than applying the glaze in even strokes I thought I'd try being a little more random in the brushstrokes and letting them show to make more of a mesh of colour.

To contrast with all the lightness the passage of water behind the foam had to be very dark. In reality it is often much darker than you at first think it would be. This area is made of combinations of the same colours used in the sky and touches of phthalo turquoise. This method of building up the dark of a wave before putting in the light of the crest and foam works well for me and means I can get flecks of the dark peeping through much more realistically than if I was to add them in on top of the light. The foam is painted with a very scrubby brush and dry paint with a lot of variation in the thickness. The top line of the foam is much more broken up in the painting than the photo shows, showing the direction of the breeze as it catches the lightest parts blowing them across the bay.

Ocean blue
acrylic on board 44x44cm
©2011 Lisa Le Quelenec
The painting feels more or less finished to me now but I will put it away for a while and sneak up on it in a few weeks to look at it with fresh eyes. In the meantime any thoughts or comments, as always, would be welcome.


Michael Bailey said...

I think this is finished too and a super piece indeed, Lisa. Not good with waves myself. Perhaps I need a 'scrubby brush' too. What is that, some kind of magic wave painting brush. Can you give me a link so I can buy one or maybe instructions on how I can make my own please LOL ?!

Anonymous said...

Lisa, no time to read through your post right now, but wanted to say, this one has blown me away...will read all about it in the next few days.

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Hi Micheal, here's a link to my favourite brush.. it's passed the scruffy and now become scrubby! It's a very valuable piece of equiptment to me, I'm thinking of patenting it and going into production. Other artists seem to have done a similar thing so I'm thinking I could get in on the action ;o) Thank you for the comments on the painting.

Hi Maggie, thank you.

Michael Bailey said...

LOL, yes I can see it now - the 'Le Quelenec Scrubby Brush' or perhaps, dare I say it, 'The Toner Lisa'. Well, I thought 'Fan Gogh' was a bit naff didn't you? Available in one size only with your signature engraved along the handle of course! Go for it Lisa, just think of the royalties. Thanks for the link, I remember reading that one a little while ago - I've got one similar for stippling leaves in watercolour. :)

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Oh dear I can see I will have to be sending you some royalties for the name 'Toner Lisa' ;o) - I like it, it's kinda catchy.