Here’s a little study that I did in Pt. Lobos near Carmel, CA this year. It’s a 10×12 and is one of those warm up, throw-em aways. At first I didn’t really care for this one but after a period of not looking at it, I could see the little things that needed to be done to make it better. Why I can’t see these things while I’m painting them, I can’t say. There’s something about being in the painting that obscures the minds ability to step away and view it on a purely objective level. And the corrections are usually minor things that make a huge difference. I made 4 small tweaks that really helped with the hierarchy of the elements, bolstered the idea of dominant/subordinate.
The first thing I did was to glaze the distant shore back using a little medium, some white and blue tint, to push it back and make it subordinate to the foreground. Second I darkened the foreground rocks in shadow and the reflections to really make it dominant and to push the design of the shapes. Third was to play up the reflected cool light on the foreground right rocks, to give them more roundness and bring the cool colors down into the warm of the rocks. Then intensified the warms of the water. Maybe not a finished painting for a frame, maybe it is but surely a good study for something bigger. I like it, I like the shapes. The good thing about using these studies for larger pieces rather than photos is that we are more free to embellish and recreate shapes to better serve the painting and not what we are looking at.