Thursday, February 26, 2015
Creating My Perfect Caribbean
If I can't be in Jamaica, I may as well paint it in pastels. I am taking a big risk here showing you my painting as it begins (see original photo at the left corner in each image). As one of my teachers loved to tell us, most pastels don't look remotely attractive until the last ten minutes. So I apologize for the progress images, but I think it is worthwhile to study what colors need to build up to create the rewarding final ten minutes.
A key component of this process is the color wheel. In the early stages of the painting I am laying down approximate tones that are the complementary colors to the final ones I want to achieve. I am a little loose with my choices because I am not looking to create a replica of the scene... but instead, an interpretation. The under painting (which is seared into the sanded paper with alcohol and brush) is what creates the beautifully rich, layered tones that made me fall in love with pastels. Unexpected rusts peek out from underneath the ocean while coral and pink lay softly under the blue sky foreshadowing the sunset just hours away.
After gently applying many layers of blues in all my favorite permutations, I generated a sky that transports me back to my heavenly gazebo on the sea. As for those pesky clouds in the original photo... not sure how I feel about them interfering with my idyllic Caribbean sky. Stay tuned and watch me decide if the weather in Jamaica will be a cloud-free sunny day or if I will add some white puffy reality to my world.