This is the largest painting in my Intimate Space – Beach Series of paintings. It was planned out months in advance as a whole series but each painting was approached in a separate manner.
Painted on stretched linen, it is 50 x 34, and is gessoed and has a red ground painting. I often use this under painting to add a little liveliness to the whole piece, especially where bare canvas peaks through.
Before I began, I did several drawings, including a NOTAN study (black and white) when helps me to focus on composition and the key elements of the painting.
After a careful drawing of the entire painting onto the canvas, I usually begin with laying in the darks. However, in this case, I painted in the skyline first. Then I did the darks and kept carving into more spaces. Apologies for the glare on the canvas from my easel light.
The largest areas – sky and sand – are painted very roughly in impasto. I usually use several layers to achieve this effect.
Then I began to firm up the figures and the background. At this point, the painting usually looks like a real mess but I’ve learned to persevere. It will come out alright in the end.
The final details actually took the longest time as I kept coming back, firming up details (or sometimes eliminating them). A little more contrast here, another highlight there. It’s not an exact science. Even now, I may tweak it some more before I am ready to exhibit it.