This is my first time doing an underwater painting. I began by sketching out the landscape using burnt umber and safflower oil. This took me about three days to paint, but I could certainly keep going if I wanted to. I did not want to add too many details and like the flowy look of the painting. I keep saying I am going to do a demo of my process soon and have had several requests to make one. I will do one for still-life and for a landscape. I am waiting for a replacement for my laptop which no longer works.
I did manage to record a few seconds of the final touches:
I decided to paint a scene from one of my favorite books, The Odyssey. I am an avid reader of classical works and I had just finished reading a children’s version with my daughter. In this scene, Athena stands on the rocks beckoning to her father Zeus. Odysseus stares into the waters yearning for his home in Ithica stuck between a world dominated by fate and choice. In many ways, like Odysseus, we have the choice to face the world headstrong and confront our faults.
I was inspired by one of my favorite contemporary artists, Qiang Huang, to paint a still-life in a similar style. I love his direct brushstrokes and energetic flow. Although it is realistic, there are parts left undefined, especially in the background. As much as I want to do some plein-air work, I don’t have time. I always think still-life is a great substitute. Plus it is fun arranging objects. The real challenge is being able to fit everything into the painting and figuring out how much space one has.
After some more details:
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Finished this one today. I cannot get enough of egrets. I am really figuring out how to keep vegetation looking natural without overworking the details. Instead of focusing on details, I use value and color to tell the story.
This piece, along with two others, will be at the Richmond Hill City Center, in Georgia, for the Arts on the Coast 2018 Spring Show from April 18th until the 27th.
I love these birds! I want to focus on the light in this one. I may work some more on the water as well.
I wanted to try orange skies. I really enjoyed the challenge of finding different shades of browns, reds, and oranges. This is one of my larger paintings.