View Full Version : my first attempt at the ocean WIP.... help
03-22-2010, 06:58 PM
It has been an absolutely stunning summer in Sydney and I couldn't tell you how much time we have spent at the beach, but I can say every time we go I take my camera :rolleyes:
We live on a peninsular surrounded by water, a bay on one side and surf on the other so you can imagine how desperate I am to master painting the ocean as usual I am rushing in and doing my research after the fact :o
One of our favorite places is a local surf spot named 'Voodoo', in winter the waves take over but at this time of year we take the kids out snorkeling in the rock pools. It really is our secret spot and we are often the only people swimming last weekend I took about 120 photos :lol:
So here it is, I had thought to do it really quick, learn something from my mistakes and put it aside, but a weird thing happened, I think it actually looks like water I didn't expect to like it! now I am scared that I made to many mistakes in the beginning :(
I still have a lot of work to do but decided I had better yell out help now before I go any further.
I did an under painting in green then I put in the brown for rocks decided it was to light and would go murky I tried to brush it off and it was a big mess so I went over it with water to make it stay put and it did :D
OK so this is where I decided it actually might turn out OK so I got worried and stopped, silly isn't it that when I thought it was going in the bin I went in all confident and now I'm scared to touch it :(
I know the rock shapes aren't exactly the same that doesn't worry me(should it?) the colours do, in real life the colour of the water is that amazing dark turquoise so I was aiming for that. My idea was to do the water dark and rich then just add little bright highlights to bring out the shapes, have I gone to dark? I wonder why I bothered with the under painting when I covered it all up :(
Can you teach me anything from this? what I should, could or you would do next :lol:
I still have a long way to go, I feel maybe a third of the way done, see how I stopped at the sand ? it seems impossible as it is underwater but so vivid, I worry if I use sandy colours it will be so dull.
I am going out for lunch and when I get back I'm painting all afternoon:clap:
Thanks for any help and I really REALLY want hard critique I'd rather get it now while I know I have so much to learn.
Thank you so much for all I am learning, Deborah.
03-22-2010, 07:32 PM
Keep going! It's coming out great. I would start working up from what you have with a lighter turquoise, then go at it with a very light blue for the last details. I can see the browner areas and the deep turquoise areas worked out perfect, now it needs mid turquoise and the last little lights to make it show the full range. It's not too dark for it being unfinished, from here you can go lighter. Then maybe scumble a little sand at the lower left corner unless you mean that to be clear light turquoise shallows with the sand pushed off outside the picture. Either will work.
Your photo reference is gorgeous! Your painting's coming out well, just keep going!
03-22-2010, 10:15 PM
This is looking great so far! You have blocked in the basic shapes (and the rocks don't have to be the same as in the photo). It looks like your block in is mainly the darks and you have begun putting the lights onto the rocks. So I would continue putting on the lights. Just keeping looking for the shapes of light and shadow. And one thing to consider is that the areas of light (especially on the rocks) has quite a bit of yellow in it.
Believe me, everything is looking good so far! Just remember, if you start to feel that you are getting stuck - don't think "This needs to look like water" or "How do I paint sand?" - just look at the shapes of color. Everything is just a combination of various shapes of color!
You are well on your way!
03-22-2010, 10:53 PM
I couldn't begin to offer help on this as I've never painted this specific subject, but I do know you're off to a good start. If I remember correctly, Deborah Secor posted a painting of rocks underwater not too long ago, and of course, it was wonderful. The thread was called Shallows. I don't know how to give you a link, but you can search her threads and look for it. Maybe by looking at hers, you might see something that can help you. It's not necessarily the same colors, but maybe the values will help.
:clap: You've really got a good start here, so keep going!
03-22-2010, 11:21 PM
Thanks for looking.
Robert I like the idea of not having as much sand I might do that and yes the photo is gorgeous you should see it in real life !!
Don I will chant in my head it is not water and sand but shapes and colours :D .
Chris I went looking for the post and couldn't find it but I did find one by Deborah titled High and Dry(rocks under water) it is exactly what I needed (thank you as well Deborah) and it would seem I didn't start of so badly after all :clap:
Thank you so much for the encouragement I am so excited to get out and paint again!!
03-22-2010, 11:56 PM
Deborah, real good start. I find every painting goes through a ugly stage and alot of artist stop painting and bin it at that point. once you past that point things start to fall into place almost like magic. well most of the times. well done so far. heep at it.
03-22-2010, 11:57 PM
You answered your own question - why did you do an underpainting, only to cover it up? I would have done a dark underpainting, then light over the dark.
I like the shape of the rocks in the background, so keep going and see if you can do a last layer of lighter color on the dark (try a small area before you do a lot).
03-23-2010, 12:20 AM
Interesting subject, I am looking forward to seeing this finished.
03-23-2010, 08:59 AM
Thanks again for the comments, well here it is.
I'm not sure how I feel I guess I am happy that it looks like water and rocks, but I never seem to be able to get that rich luminance that I see in other peoples photos. It definitely doesn't look wet to me, looks more like you could walk on it rather than in it :(
I think I will go and take a photo of a small rook pool and just try and really copy one tiny pool.
I found with this when I did a lot of detail it just looked like a big mess so every time I tried so I ended up blending it in, and when I made the light bit like the sand in the front light it looked really scratchy and dry.
03-23-2010, 03:48 PM
I keep scrolling between the two and my first thought is that you do need to distinguish the beach for the sake of the composition. That beach is not a sandy colour so you needn't end up with green. Try dotting (for want of a better word) with blues, pinks and greys to give the impression of pebbles. before you think, that's no good, and get out your fingers to blend, look at it from a distance and see how it appears.
I would also suggest putting some more yellow ochre colours in the lit parts of the rocks to lift them a little.
This is a very difficult subject (and a stunning photo) and I think you've really done well to get it this good. It just needs a bit of extra zing!
03-23-2010, 06:38 PM
I never seem to be able to get that rich luminance that I see in other peoples photos.
This is looking very good! I would say that it is 95% done! The last 5% might be to reinforce the most intense colors - especially the yellowish highlights on the rocks and perhaps those intense blues in the water. You don't need a lot of strokes - just touches. And don't blend these final touches! See if that helps!
This is very nice, as is!
03-23-2010, 06:50 PM
I agree with Don, there is more color in the rocks than you painted - I see umbers (greeny brown) and some deep rust color in places. You may not have the color range in your pastels that you need, but try punching up those rocks somehow with more distinct light and dark.
03-24-2010, 03:55 AM
OK I am exhausted and for the moment I am soooo over painting water thank you for the comments and suggestions I think I tried a bit of everything:lol:
Ruthie I added lots of dots for the sand, all the colours you suggested and then some, when I asked the kids what they thought (they are ALWAYS VERY HONEST) my daughter said she loved it but that the sand looked like it was under water:clap: and my son loved the pebbles and shells at the front :smug: so it worked!!!!
Also more yellow on rocks.
Don I put in more yellows and blues and didn't blend as much I do find it really hard not to blend so I kind of get the very top of the rubber blendy thingy and do a tiny bit of blending it feels like a good compromise:p
Kathrine I added more darks and yes when I looked there was a rusty colour in the water as well :eek:
So after reading and taking note of everyones comments :heart: here it is......
I am happier with it than I thought I would be and that is most definitely because of all your comments, as I paint I hear all these little voices in my head :lol: , I don't like the rocks they look like cartoons but hey I have once again learned an incredible amount about painting and what happens when I do this or that :thumbsup:
03-24-2010, 08:00 PM
Touche'!!! I like the changes.
03-25-2010, 12:05 AM
Looks great! The things you did really put the wow into it. Water is tricky to do and takes lots of practice and a little help from your friends! Good job. Jen
03-25-2010, 02:27 AM
We have the same turquoise water... (we must be neighbours!) and I never tire of trying to capture it! You have done a great job with your first attempt! I totally agree with Pete's comment about every painting going through an ugly stage- and to keep going until you are through the other side, which you have done so well.
03-25-2010, 07:17 AM
This turned out really lovely. Your water is super
03-25-2010, 04:54 PM
Mollerman, Jen, Bethany and Mary thank you for your comments, the encouragement recieved from memebers on this forum helps me so much :D
After I had finished this I thought 'that's it , I'm not going to paint water again for a long time', then I woke up this morning and remembered that wave someone posted recently, now I can't wait to get back out into my studio and start :clap:
Bethany I live south of Sydney, we are so lucky in Australia to have such beautiful beaches and water ways :smug:
HEY!!! you did great. Keep doing more, you will become a master. That's what it is all about. Very nice. Derek
03-25-2010, 05:33 PM
Deborah, You have painted this beautiful but difficult scene very well. It is usually very helpful to squint at your photo to see more clearly where the light, middle and dark tones lie. Joyce
03-26-2010, 04:55 AM
:D :D thanks Derek and Joyce I went for a two hour walk today trying to photograph a perfect wave :rolleyes:
03-26-2010, 11:34 AM
Deborah, My attempts at this haven't been successful so I'm trying to see what you learn as well.
Good for you in pushing yourself to paint this. HOpe you catch that perfect WAVE!
03-26-2010, 12:18 PM
I'm so delighted that my wave painting has inspired you. I'll pass along a few hints about painting water that work for me.
1. You have to remember that water has movement, and capturing that movement will go a long way. I start the movement of water in my sketching with my pencil or charcoal, just by making light, loose strokes so that I get the feel of movement.
2. Water is transparent, so you see all sorts of colors from what's underneath. I try to capture that in an underpainting.
3. Water is reflective, so the sky, along with elements like shoreline trees and rocks affect it as well. That's another reason why an underpainting works well for me.
I particularly like bright colors in my underpainting and then I put layers of greens, purples and blues on top while paying attention to values. The foamy parts have touches of pinks and yellows and the pure white from Great American for final highlights.
Hope you give moving water another try! This painting turned out very nicely.
03-27-2010, 03:07 AM
Thanks Barb I think I will have to wait for some winter storms to find my wave :)
Helen thank you for posting your wave picture and for taking the time to give me such a great reply, I will note down your points and keep on trying!!
vBulletin® v3.5.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.