Working in the Backyard...
It's time for another work in progress update for the "Little Sailor". The more I continued to work on the painting the less I liked the relationship between the little boy and his toys. Something was off and in the end I decided to take the boat out and change it to a tour tug boat. Since the larger boat was taken out the large paddle looked out of place too and was replaced by a plastic beach shovel.
Tugboat and Shovel Detail
I think the smaller tugboat and shovel look better than what I had before.
There is a lot of glare on the canvas, but you can see how grass and rocks have been added to make the background more interesting looking. I brought in a lot of pinks, some grey blue and even some muted greens into the sand and added impasto highlights to make the sand shimmer like real sand does when the light hits the grains.
I still have to work on the shirt, hat and pants and bring in a bit more highlights and texture into the cloth. When I work on a portrait I sometimes get stuck. There are those moments when I am greatly bothered by something and just can't put my finger on it. So over the years I have learned that the best action plan is to do absolutely nothing. I set the painting aside, usually in a spot where I pass it a couple of times and wait. Over time as I stop fretting over what might be off, the light bulb goes off and the "aha" moment happens. I suppose that's what being an artist is all about. You have to wait for your muse to start whispering into your ear and show you what needs to be done.