Pastel Problems And Working Them Out

Once and for all, I pulled this picture out of the closet in hopes of finishing it once and for all. I am determined to complete it before beginning any of the next 19 paintings I have on my list to produce for a show in San Antonio next year. The problem I am having is that the original photograph I am using as reference has no image in the window background and I am having to create something new to put there. This picture was taken on our "floater" in Baffin Bay. A floater is actually a cabin that floats on the water. It is tethered to a pole that is anchored in the water so that it is free to move around depending on the direction of the wind.

So, I decided to paint the image of the bay in the background outside the window. But something just didn't look right about it. And since I didn't have anything to compare it to, I was stumped. So this is how I solved my problem:

• First, I took a photo of the painting and turned it into a black and white image so I could see the values clearly.

• Second, I played with the background image (on the computer) making it lighter, then darker to see what value needed to go there. I decided to make the water darker in the foreground and lighter in the back ground and added a darker streak to create some interest. To me it looked like the wake of a boat that had just passed by.

Problem solved!
I had to take the image back down to the basics of values in order to see what was lacking. Now, I have a blueprint of proper values to guide me through the completion of the painting. And once I did this, I saw other areas of the painting that needed some "ooomf"! Keep this in mind if you can't figure out what your painting is missing. Most of the time, I bet your values need tweeking.

Do you have some insight to share on how you go about problem solving when things just don't seem right with a painting you are working on? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Blessed

Blessed There’s no north light coming through my studio window today.  But even though, it feels so peaceful here. A dreary, rainy ...