Tuesday, March 06, 2012


 I've spent more time defining this wave to add some realism to it.  All those little fiddly details are what I love to work on, but there's a fine line between detail and overkill.  With water, its easy to go on forever adding light and darker values to the water surface, foam and spray. 

Close analysis of water reveals its complexities.  Its not simple  shapes or solid colours as so often depicted, especially by beginning artists. Creating a transparent, moving mass takes time and so often I see pieces discarded in frustration when another couple of hours of work would push them into a new direction.

I rarely work from a printed photo, as it never provides enough detail of the water surface and values.  I keep the image on the computer screen so I can enlarge and reduce it as required to really observe well.

This piece is a sample for a workshop and measures 8 x 16 on canvas panel in acrylics.


Sue Pownall said...

Wow it's amazing to think this is a workshop sample - sell it! :)

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

I can feel the wetness, splosh and hiss of this one. I really wish I could get to the workshop.... (note to self - buy a lottery ticket) if you ever do anything in the UK count me in.

Jeanette said...

Sue, I probably will sell it either as at a workshop price or later. I'll be doing another during the workshop so there may be twins at some point!

Lisa, waves are so fascinating to paint and I love having impact on a viewer that can sense the movement in it. It means I'm heading in the right direction.

I think you're so capable of rendering, you're not in any need of a workshop on it. But it would be such fun if you were here for one. I'll be sure to let you know if I do anything in the UK.

JoAnna Carrozzino said...

I'm so glad I came across this post. I am working on a large painting of Niagara Falls. I came to a similar conclusion early on, it would be a waste to print my reference image. I keep my laptop uncomfortably close so I can zoom in and out on a whim. It will inevitably earn some battle scars from this.
I feel less crazy now!

Jeanette said...

JoAna, I can't remember the last time I printed a photo to assist with a painting. I just can't get the level of detail that I want from it unless I enlarged it to a huge size.

I have a 22 inch monitor that gives a lot of clarity, but even a small screen where you can zoom in and out works perfectly too.

We're not crazy! :) Well, not too much.


can feel this wave jeanette ..beautiful.

Jeanette said...

Thanks Jane, there's something so satisfying about painting water.