Thursday, November 23, 2017

Foam on the Beach

I've had better weeks. Felt a little weak on Monday, had a sore throat on Tuesday and was sneezing my head off on Wednesday. Couldn't paint all week. On top of that I managed to loose half of the footage for a video I was editing. Like I said I've had better weeks.

It once again made me realize how important painting is to me. So let's talk about a painting I did recently.

Foam on the Beach, oils on panel, 27.6 x 47.2"

Sometimes, when painting a film of water on a beach, I first do the beach, all the way up to the surf. In the early stages there's sand as far as the first breakers. The basic color here is a flesh tint with a little Sepia and Burnt Sienna. Closer to  the viewer there's evermore Sepia and Sienna.

On top of the beach I then paint this layer of water with it's reflections in thin glazes. I really love how the beach subtly shines  through in the color of the water. That's the beauty of glazing: it mimicks reality. First sand, then water. I've used this principle more often, for example when painting thin clouds over a blue sky. Though there have to be more examples I can't think of them at the moment. Gotta sneeze...

Thursday, November 2, 2017


I always try to make my paintings as realistic as possible, even thought the scenes I paint are often imagined. When you're aiming for a high degree of realism a few things are essential. Smooth transitions for example. Equally important is the way you handle your edges. (By the way: the painting below is not the same as the one in my previous entry. It's a much larger variation on the same theme.)

Rain Clouds #2, oil on panel, 40 x 160 cm

Anyway, a cloud almost never has sharp edges. I already mentioned it in both my tutorial videos: a cloud with sharp edges is going to look like it's cut out and glued to the sky, instead of being a part of it. The way to paint a cloud that hovers over the earth's surface is by softening its edges. The lightest part is not on the edge.The cloud kind of slides into the background.

Rain Clouds #2, detail

Duhuh, mr. expert painter. Of course clouds have soft edges. They're fluffy, constantly changing phenomena. It's not hard to understand they have soft edges. But how about solid objects, like the pole in the painting below?

Snowy Dyke, oil on panel, 50 x 65 cm

Snowy Dyke, detail

I rest my case. Later!