Thursday, 1 December 2011

Light across the bay

Light Across the Bay
acrylic on paper 25x25cm
©2011 Lisa Le Quelenec

Stage 2
stage 1
Stage 1&2, blocking in the basic colours using buff titanium, azure blue and indanthrene.  This painting is on HOT PRESS 300lb Arches, my favourite watercolour paper. Then using a lot of dry brushing I built up the tones I needed to give shape to the waves in the bottom section. I made the horizon especially dark using indigo mixes knowing that this would become much lighter at a later stage as more layers were added. I wanted to have tiny, subtle touches of dark in this area that would blend into the haze.

Stage 4
Stage 3
At stage 3 I could add in the silhouette of Old Harry Rocks and the delicious bright light that underlined it. Once dry I added more dry brushing to soften and lighten the dark at the horizon. I used thick blots of paint to suggest the sparkles, a lot of them were pure colour and unmixed titanium white. Touches of phthalo blue were also introduced at this stage. It doesn't really show up in the photo but I lightened the bottom wave shape with patches of the darker blue still showing through but in much smaller amounts.

Stage 4 and more dry brushing and glazing over the the whole of the water adding back some warmth. I am happy with the patina of the surface that is building up now. All the layers gel together each one partially hidden from the next but with dots and dashes showing through for a shimmering surface of colour.  A new wave shape had suggested itself and was painted in, the shadow of both of these two waves was added with glazes of indigo and phthalo. A very pale dilution of the wave glaze was used in the top of the sky.

Finally another layer of a predominantly azure mix over the water to inject a bit more colour and warmth, some dark added into the bottom wave and a few highlights..... and I'm going to call it finished. I think there will be a bit of a crop to take out a little of the sky when it comes to framing, but I won't think about that until I've gotten some distance from it.

I mentioned earlier about the patina of the surface that built up with the layers of paint. This is an aspect that is very important to me in my acrylics. As I started with a completely smooth surface for this painting, the texture that you see is just made from paint giving me more control. Had I used a paper with tooth it would look completely different and more uniform, this is something that I can find quite constricting. I've tried to get a photo of the textural qualities of  the painting - it was hard to get a close up with my camera. ( my camera skills still need improvement - the painting has a straight horizon too ;o) ) In contrast the sky area is completely smooth where it had been built up with glaze.

So this is what I have been up to over the past week or so, the short days we have now make for much shorter painting time. I've never been very good at painting by electric light despite using daylight bulbs. It does mean more drawing is back on the schedule though which is my silver lining.


Caroline said...

Beautiful painting Lisa it has a truely wonderful sparkle on the water. The detail close ups are good too helping me to see the brush work well. How is the exhibition going?

Bruce Sherman said...

Hi there Lisa!... I love the quiet and calm of the whole piece... being energized in the foreground by your use of drybrush and sparkle!
Bedazzling... is the only adequately descritive word that comes to mind!

A gem!

Good painting!
Warmest regards,

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Hi Caroline, thank you. The exhibitions seem to be a case of quick, quick, slow... so far. I went to see the Red House open this week which looks good. Some really interesting works have been chosen. How are you finding things where you are?

Hi Bruce, thank you as always. Loved your snow paintings btw I'm looking forward to the ones that will follow.

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks so much for taking us through the steps, Lisa. This painting does sparkle and is so beautiful - the work you put into it shows! I'm looking forward to seeing your drawings :)

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Hello Rhonda, thank you. Drawings coming very soon.... Have a great day.