Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"A Time for Us" (a.k.a. I sure wish I was there!)

We could all use a little peace and quiet in our lives.  Sometimes, it's my paintings that bring that feeling to my collectors who are busy, busy, busy!  

I painted "A Time for Us" after taking a walk at #CharlestowneLanding in #Charleston, SC.  The mood was serene and the water was calm, reflecting the beauty of the Spanish moss hanging from the live oak trees (for those of you that are not familiar with the term "live oak", it's actually the name of the tree and doesn't mean the opposite of dead oak, thank goodness!)

If you follow my blog, you know that I love to show work in progress whenever I remember to actually take pictures.  So here's the progress on this one.  The earlier images are bluish in cast...sorry about that.  I took them in fluorescent lighting and forgot to change the setting on my camera.

p.s.  those of you who know me and my style will recognize that I've used a lot of masking fluid again in this painting.

Here I've applied my first wash (or layer of paint) over my somewhat detailed sketch.

I've started adding paint to create negative shapes and to start defining the masses of shapes.  It gives me a blueprint so I can more easily determine what to do next.  Although these dark shapes look pretty darned dark on your computer screen, they're really only a middle value at this point.  The contrast of the camera was too strong.

More middle values being added.  Again, to help me determine what I need to do in the lighter areas.

Here it is in a yellower cast once I adjusted the White Balance in my camera.  It's still not "right on" in color, but much better than the bluer ones posted earlier.  

Here's the final result.  "A Time for Us" (watercolor, framed size 31" high x 41" wide) by Helen K. Beacham
(Note:  Professional image provided by Fine Art Reproductions in Charleston, SC)

(Who doesn't love adirondack chairs?)
My goal, in a scene like this, is to give the illusion of distance and perspective.
I accomplish that by showing:
1. overlapping objects (palm fronds in front of trees, trees in front of other trees...diminishing sizes)
2. by the use of color (warm tones in the foreground, cooler tones in the background),
3.  by subtle things like bigger brushstrokes for movement in the near water, as compared to almost no visible strokes in the water furthest away.
4.  Texture in the nearer trees.  None in the background.

Do you use other methods to show distance in a painting?
Come with me (Helen K. Beacham) and Kelly Medford to paint Venice this October...
Just 2 Oil Painting spots left in the workshop.

Click HERE for details!