Sailing shapesPosted: May 30, 2015
When I looked at this scene early this morning the first thing I thought was “how do I make sense of this confusion?” I’ve painted it before — last summer, and the summer before — but not in the early morning like this and perhaps with fewer boats in the bay. If you think about it, it’s impossible to draw in all the details on the boats, unless of course you have all day and besides, why draw details that you can just as easily add in with a brush? In a scene like this there are three repeating motifs: the sail covers, the masts and the shapes of the foreground boats. The rest is just filler. Bits of lights and darks between those shapes that convey more rows of boats.
So here’s what I did. I drew the foreground boats, the sail covers, the horizon line and the line of trees. When it came time to paint, I started with the sky and water and left a good chunk of unpainted (white) shapes in the middle. If you look carefully, there are no boats behind that first row. Just masts, sail covers and little dark and light shapes. I painted the reflections fairly early on in the process and it’s a good thing I did since the wind picked up not long after and changed the scene considerably. The last thing I did was the masts, trying to connect them with the sails, and not always succeeding.