Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Parking The Boat - a step by step oil painting process

I'm going to try to explain one of my painting techniques. Painting ala prima typically refers to the process of painting in one sitting. The application of colour is quick, and commonly full of expression.

For this study, i used a well primed 8X5 illustration board. 3 coats should be the minimum. If you don't prime the board with acrylic well enough, oil could seep through the paper and may ruin the painting in the future.

I let the acrylic dry for a while. And in about half an hour, I'm ready to go!

(click the images to enlarge)

The pencils determine the basic layout. It tells me where the shapes lie on the frame. I do it loosely. No details. Just the basic elements. I used references from some of the photos i took.

I tried to minimize the colours i used. Lemon yellow, cobalt blue, titanium white and burnt umber. Using less colours will make your painting look more harmonious in the end.

Background first. I divided it into three different sections. Sky, water and sand. Rather than painting directly from the tubes, I mix the paints on the pallete before applying it on the board. The sky leans on the blue side, the sea on the greenish, and the sand on the yellowish.

Painting the boat...

...then the three dudes. I still don't worry about the details at this point. Just the basic colour relationships.

After I'm done with the process of filing in the whole frame with colours, I go to the fun part. Volume! this is where I put depth and distance. The magic of tricking the eye in making you think you're looking at a 3D object rather than a flat picture.

I start from the farthest. The sky and clouds. This is where i usually channel Bob Ross whenever i do a landscape. (Hi Bob!) Ok, now... deeper blues... check. fluffy clouds... check. thinner clouds near the horizon... check!

Now the boat gets the attention. I refine the edges more at this point. I also paint in the dark areas inside it. Plus a little bit of the highlights and shadows here and there. And the darker water underneath it. The beach area also gets a little bit busier. A few touches of lights and darks to indicate where the water recedes after kissing the sand.

At this point, its practically done. I just have to fill in the necessary details...

This is where I change my brush from a number 4 filbert to a finer number 2 round for the boat's roof posts and paint job, the wooden plank steps, the bamboo details, and the skin tones and clothes highlights.

It's almost done!

I noticed the water needed a little tweaking near the horizon. I darkened it a bit to suggest a deeper sea. Plus the faint shape of the mountain on the right side to give a better sense of distance. And finally, more splashes of surf on the beach makes this piece finished.


I hope you liked it!

If you have any questions, suggestions or criticisms, feel free to leave a comment =)

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1 comment:

ipis of pex said...

thanks for sharing.