Lovric’s boatyard

A few years ago I did a preparatory sketch for a bigger painting of a scene at Lovric’s boatyard in Anacortes, Washington. Reading my post about that sketch again today, I saw that I hoped to do a bigger painting soon. Well, it’s almost two years later, but nobody’s counting, right?  Here’s the original sketch I did in watercolour, and what intrigued me then about the scene (the end of day light) was still what I was trying to capture this week.


For this larger painting (16″ x 20″) I decided to try it in oils. It was a real learning experience for me, once again, with this new medium. Since this is only my third full oil painting, there are still many things that I am experimenting with for the first time. For example, the rigging and thinner lines are more difficult in oil. You have to wait for the layers underneath to dry before you add more lines on top. That is never something that I worry about in watercolour. Also, there were areas that I wasn’t happy with in the painting, so I scraped them out with a knife (first time for that too) and repainted them until I was satisfied with the colour. And then there’s the process of photographing the work! I tried a studio shot using the lights and technique I usually use for watercolours, but the shiny oil paint creates a lot of glare. After a few tries, I ended up going outside with the painting, putting it on my cold stone walkway and taking a photo of it in natural light. The colour is not quite right but at least the glare is gone.

Next week: back to school which means more quick sketches and few paintings. Sigh.


38 Comments on “Lovric’s boatyard”

  1. Felicia Cass says:

    Lovely and so inspirational to see the fast progress you’re making in this new medium.


  2. Missy Walsh-Smith says:

    Shari, this is so beautiful! Oh, those reflections!
    You need to return so you can paint again at Lovric’s. I think it’s been almost 3 years, hasn’t it? So…please consider a west coast trip. The boatyard is calling you and so are we!:)


    • Hi Missy, It’s great to hear from you. I am considering a trip to visit you this summer. I just sent your chief organizer an email about it, so talk to her. There’s a good possibility that we see each other very soon. But only if we can paint at Lovric’s, ok?


  3. Judy Sopher says:

    I am amazed at how quickly you are able to adapt to oils. The oil painting is beautiful. I like both but the oil is just wonderful.


  4. Bill Fagan says:

    Hi Shari.
    When I do an oil painting that requires some very thin lines, I sometimes just use an ink pen. Don’t tell anyone. Whats wrong with mixed media?


  5. gaelle1947 says:

    Beautiful re-interpretation of that study. And you maintained the freshness and translucency of watercolor style in you oil painting! Wonderful marriage of techniques!


  6. Lynn says:

    Superb – both of them. Somehow though I easily feel the end of day, early evening in the watercolor, yet the oil has a sunrise feel. It’s so special for you to be able to capture that quality of light that catches everyone at certain special times of day and weather.


    • Thanks Lynn. I don’t the photo captures the colour of the oil correctly. I have them side by side in my studio and they seem to be a closer match in colour when I look at them. I still need to master the photography of oil paintings.


  7. Cornelia Emery says:

    I’m sure that someone has already suggested that one way to do rigging lines is to use the side of your palette knife. Pick up a small amount of paint on the long side of the knife and place it vertically on the painting. However, my favorite way is to paint the rigging, masts, tree branches, lampposts, etc. first and then put in the background afterwards without waiting for everything to dry. It’s a different look, however. So fun & frustrating doing new media!

    cemeryposh@aol.com http://www.corneliaemery.com



    • Thanks for writing Cornelia. I actually did use the knife for some of these lines, and it works so well for all those tiny lines. I just had a look at your work — wonderful! One of the things I like best about my blog is looking up the work of people who comment. I learn so much all of these discoveries.


  8. Dottie Aiken says:

    Very nicely done!. I’ve never tried oils and rely on acrylics and watercolor but you’ve nailed it. Really like the water and all of the shadows. Keep up the good work.


  9. Both of these have such lovely reflections and light! Nicely done!!!


  10. Ellen says:

    I think you are doing a fantastic job!!!!!


  11. Lisa Daniels says:

    You are amazing


  12. carolyn cochran says:

    Beautiful, Shari! Anacortes never looked so good!! When are you coming back?


  13. Suzanne says:

    Wow, wow, wow!! What a difference! Stop making oil painting look easy, please.
    May I ask roughly how much time is spent on a prep sketch and then on the chef d’oeuvre? And how much more time is spent on the thinking, pondering, and planning, generally?
    I might have to keep doing art just in my head. That already consumes too much time. 😅


    • Hi Suzanne. The prep sketch probably took about 30 minutes. Then there was a gap of two years while I pondered the painting, learned how to paint in oils and waited to receive some beautiful brushes as a gift. The oil painting probably took about 10-12 hours, over a period of three days. I didn’t really count but I worked on it half-days so that is probably about right.


  14. MyBookJacket says:

    They’re both gorgeous. I adore the structure in the new painting and the life in the older one.


  15. Bernadette says:

    I always enjoy looking at your wonderful art works and the narrative describing the scene and your process.
    Perhaps it is the time you spend drawing during the school calendar that enables you to paint with such precision and clarity. Your work is a delight!


  16. andre savard. says:

    Well done, When I photograph my art work Oil or water color, wet or dry, I do it inside in my studio. I have neon lights half cool white and half daylight. Then I take the picture with no flash on my camera. The is no glare or shiny parts of the art work. Works all the time.


  17. Absolutely stunning Shari! The quality of light you captured is truly magical.


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