Just in time for the Art Crawl (see previous posting) I finished the last six of my series of sixty "Beach Bits" paintings. While I set out to complete sixty of these as a recognition of my having turned sixty this year, I suspect there may be more yet to come. I am still enjoying each and every one, and continuing to learn from the process. Here they are...
What have I learned?
- to plan the counterpoint of values in the composition (dark against light, light against dark) before beginning to paint
- to consider the effect of colour choice, using equal value complements (blue/orange; red/green; yellow/violet) for maximum glow
- to PLAN everything first, so that the first coat of pastel is correct and can remain--multiple coats result in muddiness and a loss of the sparkling clarity I was seeking in these works
- to vary the placement of figures within the confines of the composition--sometimes very near the top, bottom, side or even "dead" centre can be the right place, depending upon the stance and attitude of the figure(s)
- to sometimes work on new colours of paper--for these works, I discovered that a dark navy blue paper created a nice texture and contrast with the bright/light beach colours
I will continue to do commissions of "kids on the beach" in this style. Here are three I recently completed:
I'm considering a new series of children on the slopes--skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, building snowmen--I guess a few photo trips to Dakota Ridge (the closest place that has snow in the winter) will be needed. Or perhaps I'll try to arrange a photo shoot at a local dance school and pay homage to Degas with a series of pastels of young children practicing their ballet postures. Inspiration galore!