Work in Progress #6
The painting has entered what I like to call the ugly duckling stage. After the Raw Umber wash in the 1st monochrome color layer has been applied. The idea is to come as close as possible to the values of the underlying wash-in. The painting will receive many more such layers until the values all read correctly.
I now have to wait until this layer dries to the touch. This gives me a chance to let my eyes rest and look at the painting anew. Drawing errors, which were previously not noticed tend to make themselves apparent at this stage, so it's also a good time to remeasure everything before oiling out the painting and starting to apply the next coat of paint.
See Slide Show
Work in Progress #5
The 1st layer of the grizaille has been partially applied. Sine the boys are creating a triangular composition both horizontally and vertically, I wanted to avoid a static composition. So the shore line is somewhat at an angle.
To keep the eye from wondering out of the painting I am using a mild shaft of light on the right side of the painting as a visual stopper. This in turn is balanced through the darker tones on the left side of the ocean. At least that's the idea, which I hope will work! It better!!!
The kids are fairly light and are now the focal point, just by the lighter values that contrast with the darker ones of the background. They will get tackled next.
Work in Progress #4
The foreground, middle ground and background have been developed further by making sure that there was a nice value separation. This was followed by more anatomical corrections, although I am still not pleased and will address certain issues in the next layer. This is the stage where I usually have my clients review if they like the overall look of the painting. Request for major changes, like moving figures around, can still be accommodated since the canvas can still be wiped down. Since I work in thin layers, once color is applied, corrections tend to show up as strange looking shadows and therefore I prefer to make only minor changes. I am pleased how the composition looks and think that once the color is applied it will be a really pretty painting.
Work in Progress #3
I applied the 2nd Raw Umber wash-in and developed the painting further. There are still several things that are bothering me and that need to be worked out further.
Work in Progress #2
I applied the 1st layer of the Raw Umber Wash In.The wash in will help to get volume into the figures and figure out the light and dark areas of the painting. Everything is in very rough stages and refinements will happen over time, continuously working towards capturing the exact likeness of the children.
The canvas measures 24 x 30 inches, balancing the empty space between the pyramidal composition of the kids. The trinity of the children is echoed in the sand castles towers. Attention is also paid to breaking up the monotony of the sand towers for added interest.
Work in Progress #1
After several coats of gesso, I made a grid and made a contour drawing to figure out the placement of the figures in relation to each other. Proportions had to be checked and double checked and I feel ready to move to the next stage which is the under painting.
Note to Self:
1. Move horizon down so it won't be on eye level of smallest boy.
2. Change fallen castle to an upright one.
3. Fix feet
~ The Project ~
I have received a commission for three young boys at the beach. Since this is a Christmas gift and I am dealing with three little boys who need to keep a secret until the 25th of December, there is no opportunity for a proper photo shoot. This means that I will have to make do with the few shots I was able to snap during a very short visit.
I started the project by building a story around the boys. In the original photo the older boy is holding a rock, which was replaced by a shell. Having only half their bodies I wanted to come up with a more completed setting for a painting. After many hours of searching and sketching I came up with the composition above that my client has approved. The boys are caught in the midst of building a sand castle, thus the title "The Sandcastle Knights" or should I name if "Gifts for the Queen of the Castle"?!
Update - Here is the finished painting