110. Rocky Coast & Post Production

I’ve taken photos for years and use different software to enhance the final results to express what I want.  With this painting, I was not quite sure about the distant cliffs and the depth of color in the ocean.  Too light?  Darken?  My instinct was that darkening both would make a better painting in the sense of contrast.

Overall, I like the above painting – it looks pretty good.  In the one below, I used a brush in Lightroom to darken the cliffs and the sea.

I like the second choice better.  I haven’t painted over the cliffs or ocean to make them darker, but if I were to publish things, I could do some “post” in a digital format.  If you look at the frame of the above image, you will see parts of it are darker, the result of using the LR brush.

I wonder how many other artists do post-processing of their paintings.  I have taken scans and turned them into black and white images to check contrast and value – so why not for making painting decisions as well?  It’s all a learning process.

104. Peninsula

Islands form chains, perhaps peninsulas.  Off the coast where I live is an island that reaches out into the sea.  It is more like a series of islands connected by narrow bits of land – I expect these will disappear over the next century as waters rise, and then one island may become three or four.

In the pursuit of simplicity, I used a large brush and chose the major colors.  I put in verticals to suggest cliffs.  Parts of this painting work – and others do not – in particular with a sense of dimensionality and depth of field.  I tried to create greys using opposite colors, such as cobalt blue and pyrrol orange.  Despite that, I did learn a few things.  One, wait and think.  Two, use colors far darker than you think are necessary.  Three, keep it simpler than you think it should be.

89. Carpinteria Bluffs

Another “direct watercolor” from a photo I took sometime ago when up along the bluffs in Carpinteria, CA.  This one might be worth repeating just because there are some areas I really like about it, but the rocks to the left of the cliff are rather dismal.  The topmost rock was really a boat on the horizon!  I painted the boat first, and then it just got bigger and bigger, to the point I morphed it into a dreary rock.  Those rocks need work, as does the color gradation of the sand on the beach.  I like a lot of the colors, but overall the sparkle is missing from the photo.  If at first you don’t succeed . . . ya know.