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artbyking
02-25-2001, 12:32 AM
I need some advise concerning how to paint the foam on the water on a beach after a GENTLE wave has broken. The dark color of the incoming waves is deep purple, and the light color of the unrippled water and sky is yellow-gold. The scene is backlit by a setting sun on the horizon. I would like advise concerning brushes, brushstrokes and colors. thanks

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All is physics, geometry, and art.

[This message has been edited by artbyking (edited February 24, 2001).]

LarrySeiler
02-25-2001, 10:49 AM
I am an art instructor of a number of years, and an artist with quite a bit of experience with water. Perhaps 90% of my pieces are water related. I'll invite you to look over some of my how-to's here at Wetcanvas, and you can plug my last name into the search engine and hit go for those.

I say all that so that my words won't be confused as coming from a cynic or one without experience. Your problem is two fold, sure....how to paint it? ...but, really it is how to see it.

Art is about filling yourself up with something until its about to burst. An expertise of observation that must share unique insights with the world. Those that do not routinely observe their world, instead make a cheapened imitation and look for formula or recipe.

I'm not saying that is what you are doing, I'm speaking in general terms.

That we might even begin with a formula might at first be fine, and help gain for ourselves confidence, but....the goal for yourself will be to become intimately familiar with beaches, sand, water, water patterns, surf, and foam. How light interacts with all of that, and color relates. There would be no need for one more surf/marine painting among the gazillions already in existence, if it were as simple as a formula. Its complexity invites another and another.

Water being transparent mirrors and reflects light from every direction. The sky above, the depths below, shadows, highlights, light penetrating the water, etc; then foam itself is a product of values, highlights, but also an opacity due to many forces at work. One of those is picking up of sand.

In the end, it won't be so much about your concern of an object and how to paint it. You will have trust in your eyes to see shapes, and color.

My ultimate suggestion would be to study your photo resources, or actually spend time on the beach...and "squint" your eyes. What shapes, patterns, color values do you see?

If you simply respond and seek to paint what you "see", forgetting about what it is, in time...you'll nail it. You might wish to see a similar lengthy response I gave to Bev in the "Landscape" forum, and I supplied a couple images to illustrate.

There are a number of formula books out for beginners, that come in series..that you might be able to pick up at art supply outlets, or even at your local library. Once you do imitate surf by those artist's examples, your eyes will be more empowered to perhaps move on to seeing the "real" thing and interpreting it.

Basically, the books and formula's best contributions is that they fill the gap when one's patience is about to run out! However, its not something your eyes cannot eventually figure out.

As I remind many....it takes about 120 bad paintings to learn how to paint. The secret to making good art is to make lots of "bad" art trying to make good work, and weeding out the bad along the way.

Since the sun does not conveniently present foam to look the sameway all the time, since the shadows shift, colors vary...the best advice I can give is to observe and seek to imitate, being patient with yourself to grow.

Now...after sighing with having read my words, http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif I'm sure a few others might have something more consoling and concrete to offer. Hang in there! ...peace,

Larry

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The Artsmentor

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!" Edgar Degas

[This message has been edited by lseiler (edited February 25, 2001).]

Sandi
02-25-2001, 01:35 PM
Fan brush works nice. Finish with liner brush for the veins.

Practice on a seperate sheet. Loaded brush to zigazg your foam line, then drag your brush *lightly* to even lighter towards your wave, pulling a little bit of your foam line with you. Make sure your foam line is broken and not straight pure lines. Make sure it's brightest, cleanest and widest closest to the viewer and subdued as it gets further away. Lightest light in the sun path.
Fan brushes work great in the crash itself too. Plunge the brush down hard, lift lighly to lighter, twist your wrist for each plunge. Follow immediatly with a clean soft hake type brush, to diffuse the mist in some areas but not others.
Try different size fan brushes.
Try worn out brushes.

Hope this helps.
(sorry Larry)

[This message has been edited by Sandi (edited February 25, 2001).]

LarrySeiler
02-25-2001, 03:09 PM
hahaha..lol, no need to apologize Sandi...I knew someone would come along and provide a useful formula.

Could have done so myself, but figured, heh.. I'll speak about this coming from another angle. Glad you came along and rescued me from looking bad and leaving a guy out to hang! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

Larry

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The Artsmentor

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!" Edgar Degas

artbyking
02-25-2001, 07:44 PM
Thanks to both of you for your diverse responses.
To Larry, I understand your philosophy of "Be the Ball" (see Caddyshack). It is appreciated but not very usefull to me at this time. However I will certainly consider your method in various situations as it is applicable. (it's hard to observe waves in Minnesota in Feb.) As a physics teacher of 26 years and beginning painter I am more a formula person at this time. I choose my subjects to express certain moods or feelngs or relationships. Most of my "seeing" is involved with this and not the actual objects represented. However I am having a great time seeing things through this new perspective of how to create them with paint. Not all people learn in the same way or perceive reality in the same way. We are wired up in wonderfully different ways. Thanks for the "theory" of how to create an art piece.
To Sandi. Thanks for rescuing me from the confines of a snowed in backroom in Minnesota with a method with which I can move forward. I will immediately try it. The fan brush is one of my favorites. I will post the results as soon as I can (having trouble with images on my computer). I can only look forward to April when a beach in Florida will provide me an opportunity to combine your advise with Larry's.
Thanks again to both of you for taking the time.

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All is physics, geometry, and art.

Keith Russell
02-25-2001, 10:07 PM
Larry:

Thanks a lot for your response; I think I really needed to hear it right now.

Every now and then I worry that my stuff doesn't look like so-and-so's work, and wonder if I'm as 'good' as some artist whose work I've seen in some book.

Years ago, I came across a book by Michael Whelen, where he spoke of days where he felt 'down on his work'. I was amazed; here was a professional, award-winning artist, who not only wondered if he was 'good enough', but was admitting that he sometimes felt this way IN PRINT!

The older I get, though, the more I realize that none of us are exactly alike, thus none of us experience the world in quite the same way, and so we don't create art the same way, either.

My stuff not looking like someone else's is a GOOD thing--but it never hurts to be reminded of this, 'cause it's so easy to get caught up in that 'right way/wrong way' of doing things, which is basically someone else's way of doing things--not our own.

Thanks again, I needed that!

Keith.


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Keith Russell
Synthetic Sky Studios
Science Fiction Fine Art
[email protected]
artkc.com/russelk.htm

LarrySeiler
02-26-2001, 12:35 AM
....and what a wonderful thing it is Keith that none of us are copies of each other. What a more interesting world because of it.

Convenient that there are so many people...so many, that we are bound to find a few that state things in ways we can relate, admire, and wish to have as a mentor.

Rather than saying this style, or that is best or defines art....it would be nice if we could all simply rejoice that each person finds themselves in an expression that resounds their personal voice. That we could be glad for another they have found something that gives them passion, and a cause to live and celebrate!

I hear ya, Keith! I definitely concur!
peace,

Larry

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The Artsmentor

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!" Edgar Degas

Sandi
02-26-2001, 04:15 PM
Guess I'm a believer of both types. I need to be told, shown, and let loose to learn on my own. It's still up to me get the feel of how much paint, how dry a brush, how heavy a pressure, how light of a scumble, how feather light of touch, how to follow through with my swing, how to feel free to use a whisk broom if I want/need to,... nobody else can ever replace that kind of learning.. but they can sure help me to get started with the ideas to take off from so I can then experiment, adlib, precision, mix up, toss out, and make my own.
I can't paint like anybody else, no matter how determined I am to copy the masters brushstroke per brushstroke, .. but by golly, nobody else can paint like me! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

Thanks King. I'm looking forward to seeing your seascapes!

artbyking
02-27-2001, 06:18 PM
Groove Sandi, like I totally hear you. We are all birds learning to fly. Its nice to have a web of humanity to help get started. I love you man!!! (stop laughing)

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All is physics, geometry, and art.

waves
02-28-2001, 02:40 PM
Hey King, Have you done it yet????? I may have some tips to help.


Bill

Sandi
02-28-2001, 09:35 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

(PS. I'm a filbert user, myself. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif)

artbyking
03-01-2001, 10:33 AM
Bill, No I haven't. Bring it on. I'll take all the advise I can get. I have about 15 canvases in progress so I don't progress on any one too rapidly.

Sandi, filberts are nice.

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All is physics, geometry, and art.

waves
03-01-2001, 03:08 PM
Hi King, I will try to give some things to think about and may help on this subject. I certainly agree with Larry but I can see the spot you are in. I can sit for hours at the beach just observing. I spend countless hours scetching and observing the way Larry advises so I hope I can help a little. Foam patterns are very difficult to emmulate. If I understand the question, we are talking about the "floating foam effect". You have some good brush advise already. I would only add that you may want to lay in the initial form and directions very lightly with your liner. You must know where the foam is going to be on the painting before you start. Make sketches until you are comfortable with the patterns. It is very easy to get carried away and over do them. Less is better. Keep it simple until you get comfortable with them. One tip is to make sure to follow a vanishing point and have the trailing foam consistent with that point. <IMG SRC=http://www.artistnation.com/members/paris/waves/untitled.jpg>
(sorry for the crued example but thought it would be better with a visual)
Pay very close attention to your water and shimmers. The foam will need to reflect the angles and movement. You will not be able to get the results from one brush stroke.(more of a lite stamping effect) Dark to light layers, keeping your darkest shade away from your light source of corse. Highlight areas that would be hit from the sun and would shine. If the angle of the sun is so you will see it reflecting in the wet sand than you may also want a small reflection of the leading edge of the foam as it moves up the beach. I am sure this is getteing confusing so I will stop here. Don't make it to complicated at first just try to keep it simple and watch the angles. Help any????

Bill

artbyking
03-02-2001, 06:34 AM
Bill, yah, a real lot ya know!!!! (thats yes in Scandinavian) I like the perspective, perspective. (Geometry ya know) I think I must factor in the slant of the beach also. Thanks. Larry's point ,I think, is that nature does all this automatically Its like the biggest computer graphics machine in the universe. It does all the calculations for you..

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All is physics, geometry, and art.