View Full Version : Scene At Cannon Beach

12-12-2012, 12:57 AM
I am going to try posting a new thread ! I have clicked on Browse This Forum and then clicked on Forum Tools and then New Thread. I hope this works !

Anyway, this painting is Acrylic and is 24" X 12 " . The reference photo is what I started with and I got bored !! Big Mistake ! So I used a few shapes from the reference photo to start my figures. After that I had to figure out everything on my own. Thus began the most difficult painting ( for me ) that I have ever done. It is completed only because I was determined not to give up. But I learned a lot ! I have no idea what you will think of this. Yes, I want your input .

I will tell you that I learned several things. 1. Black rocks look absolutely flat unless you do give them some color and texture. So for deepest value, I could only go so far . 2. People look absolutely flat unless you turn them or some of their clothing to an angle ! 3. The dog was easy unless you think he looks like a sheep ! LOL 4. I really did not intend to put in shadows as beaches aren't big on shadows, but without the shadows, everybody looked like they were not positioned in space. 5. If I tried to make the ocean come across the entire picture horizontally, I lost depth , so I ended up with this view partly by accident and then I thought, oh yes !!

This was blood ,sweat and tears and a bunch of cussing ! Now it is your turn !! What could I do better ??

12-13-2012, 10:25 AM
Youve crafted a delightful sceen out of your ref pic. Its busy and quirky but really works with all the colourful brush strokes.
My only suggestion would be to tone down the distant black rocks with a thin white/grey glase. They are the same/more black than foreground shaddow. Arnie

12-13-2012, 01:39 PM

Thank you for your advice and I am elated that you find that the scene works! No one has seen this painting and I can not longer see it objectively. Actually I am elated ! There were so many times I nearly quit !! The rocks started out solid black and I realized that they were way too flat so I started with the lighter areas you see. I wanted their darker values for the picture and feared losing their values. I will go over them with the white wash. Actually I did a couple of those washes on the woman with the dog because she was too dark in comparison to the two young people in the foreground. So I know what you mean. Thank you for taking your time to comment. It is getting way too quiet around here , after being such a busy , happy place !!

12-14-2012, 06:02 AM
You've gotten good advice. I applaud you for creating your own design. Your results are better than the reference. Good job!!!!

12-14-2012, 11:08 AM
I think after all that work, you have a great result! I agree with what arnieb said about making the rock in the back a little lighter. I have the same tendency, to give everything the same value. So, I really noticed that. I love your brush strokes!

12-14-2012, 03:54 PM
I like it a lot! I think it works well.

12-14-2012, 05:45 PM
Fajmp,Library Lady and Pjartwc thank you for your comments. I am thrilled that you like much of this painting ! I am so glad that I did not quit on it ! Arnieb , I did not lighten the entire back rock but I studied what you said and I went in and lightened the rock behind the male figure along his back,neck and head/hat to allow the figure to show a bit more. I also put a bit of white on the rock behind the female figure just at the shadow of where her hair is slightly darkened. Thus perhaps giving a bit of contrast between her shadowed hair and the rock. Now that you all had me warmed up, I took a glaze of burnt umber and ultramarine blue and slightly darkened the rock where the figures' faces were lightest . Thus the effects are subtle , but hopefully you can see a bit more contrast between the figures and the rock . Thank you all for taking your time to comment on my post .

12-15-2012, 05:09 PM

I was looking at the comments again today and was puzzling over your comment about the rocks being as dark as the shadows and then suddenly I got it !! Most contrast to the center of interest ! Lighter in contrast in the distance! I jumped up , took a bit of white and water and brought down the light/dark contrast of the largest rock and now the foreground figures stand out a bit more. The effect is subtle but it works ! As you can see from my prior post, I kind of got what you were saying but not entirely ! Thank you !

12-18-2012, 10:30 PM
Nice painting. The sand and the sky look a bit crazy, and it distracts my eye with all the bright colors. I love the rocks, they look amazing. Overall a nice piece.

12-19-2012, 12:16 AM
The guy with the little tike must be pretty tall
You have made the rocks at Cannon Beach quite small compared to the reference


12-19-2012, 03:56 AM
Qazart , thanks for commenting. Looking at my painting right now, the colors of the beach are not as bright as the picture on the monitor looks. Yes, I am looking a second time to be sure . I do like color but I am not quite as wild as you think ! LOL The sky, well, I got bored with a flat sky. What can I say ? I am still kind of looking at it and thinking ,what if I added more white ? Sigh ! When does it end ?? I could pick forever !
Andrew , I am glad that you are commenting ! I see what you mean about the child. I made him up and I can see where he could have been taller in proportion to his father ! I missed that one ! The Rocks ? Well, I was caught between how close to have them appear . Also the canvas is not real high. I see what you mean from the reference . I got more interested in the people than the rocks and had to decide how close up to make those rocks !! This picture just kind of took off and totally changed from the original idea . Haystack Rock is famous for its shape and I did not want to cut off the top and I did not want it to look like the people were standing next to it . So this was the compromise ! If anything, I guess I could have made it smaller and farther away , but then I would lose Haystack and i love Haystack !! LOL

12-19-2012, 09:02 PM
She, hi, I just think you lose the impact of Haystack by reducing its size.
Really when you consider it the rocks are more interesting than the people because we do not have any connection to the people.
Merry Christmas :)

12-20-2012, 02:40 AM
Andrew , Now here is a difference of focus ! You like the rocks the most ! I like people the most ! Merry Christmas ! LOL

12-21-2012, 06:55 PM
You've given yourself a tough assignment and I applaud your following through with it this far. I have done the same thing in the past and thrown away more times then I care to admit. One would think I would learn from that and start doing thumbnails before hand to work out all those details. Anyway... back to your delightful painting. You have grounded your people with shadows so now you must follow through with the shadows on their bodies as well as well as a light and dark side to the rocks. It's a charming painting.. hang in there for one more stage.

12-21-2012, 11:33 PM
Crazywoman, you are right, this is so difficult ! Interesting that you mention shadows on the people. I have been staring at the girl in the white blouse today and thinking that I should do some shadows ! The rocks ? Ugh ! I kept lightening them as to atmosphere. I will see what I can do . Thank you for the input !! I can see that I shall be posting another update soon !!

leisure artist
12-22-2012, 10:09 AM
Andrew , Now here is a difference of focus ! You like the .rocks the most ! I like people the most ! Merry Christmas ! LOL.....have to agree with you.people are far more interesting than rocks!!!!:lol: nice painting,like your style.....Christine:)

12-22-2012, 10:42 PM
First, I wish a Merry Christmas to you all ! I also am so thankful for your suggestions ! Sitting home alone does not give me any other eyes to see and suggest !

Leisure Artist thank you ! I always thought I would do landscapes and that people were too difficult. Well, so far, it seems to be people who fascinate me even though doing them at times is an exercise in frustration !! LOL

I am attaching my hopefully final update picture . Here are the changes :

Andrew rightly noticed that the distant man was too tall. I figured out that was because the child was too small in proportion to his father. So I have brought the child to waist level of his dad , which should be a better proportion.

Crazy Woman, you have really pushed me. The easiest would have been to get rid of the dratted shadows I put under everyone. But then the figures would have floated on the sand and since I had elongated the shadows to lead the eye, I would have lost that also . So , change one thing and there are 3 more adjustments to make ! Argh !! I took a dry brush and stroked white over the rocks to suggest the direction of light falling on them. I lost some color doing that, but I picked up light. I have thought about adding some color back, but then I lose the value shift . So I leave it to you if you think it is an improvement . I can not yet tell. Oh, I changed the sky by adding lots of white because I was never totally sold on the previous sky and I decided that since I had so much in midrange values, that I needed a lighter value. It is way too easy to have most everything be a midvalue ! It drives me crazy !
Now for shadows to match the ground shadows. I mixed up a glaze of burnt umber and ultramarine blue. I think the biggest effect is on the girl and her white blouse. I also glazed most of her face and down her extreme right side . It is more subtle, but i glazed the man who is with her , down his back, the extreme right side of the light area on his shorts and also a bit on his neck and cheek area. I don't know if you will be able to see a difference or not. I also glazed down the man with the little boy. I was not sure since he is farther away and I did not want to make him be too much of a contrast compared to the ones closer to the viewer. The only thing I did not like is that the glaze is a grey and it is not really pretty on white. But I could not think of another way to shadow the white ! If you have a different idea let me know.

That is all I can think of to do. Feel free if you see where I could have done better ! I will go pound my head against the wall, but you won't see that ! LOL This painting developed because I was bored with the original idea. I have not been a bit bored with this process ! LOL Frustrated , crazy, and talking to myself a lot, but not bored !

Thank you all for your input !!

Oh,oh, I tried to upload my new picture and it was too large, so I went and resized it from Iphoto and now the manage attachments will not open . I don't want to lose what I have written, so I am going to submit this reply and then go back to get the picture.

12-22-2012, 10:43 PM
Ok, now let's see if I can upload the picture ! Good, it worked !

12-23-2012, 09:01 AM
This looks much better! I love the colours, much more interesting than the reference! Well done on a tough exercise! Merry Christmas. Cheers =)) Debs.

12-23-2012, 09:07 AM
Background is over powering. People look like an after thought. Shadows?

12-23-2012, 02:42 PM
Thanks Debzy ! The light added to the rocks is growing on me ! It was difficult to give up the colors on the rocks when I overlaid the white,but I think it works. My thanks to CrazyWoman for that suggestion. I am glad I did not quit on this .

01-11-2013, 04:08 PM
Good composition and color!
For improvement, There are a few details with anatomy and proportions that are a bit off:

The boy is holding the girls sleeve, and she has no hand? Her feet are twisted a bit, compared to her upper body. It looks as if her right leg is forward and left leg back?

The lady with the dog looks really good!

The guy in the back with the kid looks really tall, and the kid is a bit too much like an X.

Maybe use some reference photos for the people. (Yours people are still better than any I've done.)

(This is about the first image you posted)

01-12-2013, 03:15 AM
Mortap, Thanks for your input. I am so done with this painting. I gave it my all ! The lady's hand is obscured by the guy's hand so I did not try to do much to draw her hand. I think the kid and the Dad got corrected a bit when I made the kid taller . At least, I don't see the X shape in the revision. You have a point on the first effort ! LOL People are both a challenge and an immense frustration at times ! And when they go right, you just want to high five everyone !! Thanks for taking the time to comment , I so appreciate it !!

01-14-2013, 04:00 AM
Yeah, if you are done, no need to go back. My main point was to suggest for future works try using reference photos of individual people. I think I may want to try that a bit to get proportions and poses more realistic.

01-18-2013, 01:42 PM
Youve done a great job with this:thumbsup: The figures were worth all the effort as they bring the piture alive. Arnie

01-19-2013, 04:55 AM

Thank you ! I have been thinking of letting the picture sit for awhile and then going back and reworking the girl and guy . I just did not think i got them right. So after your comment, maybe I should just leave it alone !! I am glad that you like it !