Sunday, April 12, 2015

Being the Ocean

Being the Ocean 24 x 48 inches
Acrylic 'dropper' technique
April 15, 2015

On a recent trip to Costa Rica I spotted these beautiful kids absorbed in their experience: the warmth and movement of the water; the sun; the rhythmic music of the surf.  This is the original photo that I took of the moment.

 I wanted to preserve as much as possible of their gestures and the way the sun lit their figures, while intensifying the range of colors in the water.

 After drawing, my first step was to apply an under-painting of colored glazes to make the canvas more receptive to the application of paint applied with an eye dropper.

Beginning at the top right (because I am left-handed) I started applying complete layers of paint to the far ocean water and distant rocks, then worked my way down the top wave.  

Colors are applied wet-in-wet, giving them a pleasing swirly quality that work well with the water.

Darker colors in the water-washed sand are added first. Fluid acrylics, when mixed with a generous portion of fluid medium, have a small degree of transparency, so overlaid colors offer hints of the darker layers beneath.

 The canvas is always laid flat for paint application.  The main range of colors, like an organized palette, stay in a handy order of hue and saturation.

The children are rendered in varying shades of orange and an orange/violet/blue mix for shadows.

 The movement of the water is rendered by wet-in-wet applications of various shades of blue and violet.

Applications of layers of paint for the water, the bottom wave, and the children are alternated over several days to allow for drying time.

Final touches consist of adding splashes of water around the playing boys and additional sparkles of light on other areas of the water.

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