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Riomaggiore is built on the cliffs above it’s harbor, rising chaotically up in a happy clutter of homes. The effect is charming whether seen from the harbor looking up or from the narrow streets looking down. The final shape of the village looks like a jewel set into the hills.
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I took the photo for this little painting in Depot Day, Oregon, last summer. Depot Bay itself is the smallest working bay I know of. It’s completely sheltered and hidden from the ocean, which is a good thing because the town that surrounds it, is one of the best places for wave watching I know of, and the only place I regularly see waves splashing Highway 101. Despite the waves outside, the bay is usually calm and a great place to find reflections. One of these days I’m going to do it’s cute little arched bridge entrance.
This painting is the first time I’ve used mask on clay-board. I used it just for the ropes and a couple of the highlights at the window edges.
Like the pears in my last post, this painting is painted on aquaboard mounted on two inch deep wooded frame. After I completed the paintings, I painted the wooden frame black and finished the watercolor with two coats of Krylon’s UV Archival Varnish, and three coats of Golden’s Polymer Varnish with UVLS (satin). The result is that the painting may be hung without a frame or glass. The coating is not only protective, but archival and removable for conservation purposes.
This is Gig Harbor, Washington in the late afternoon, though it could be almost any harbor for pleasure craft. I love to do reflections and docks are a great place to find them. In the late afternoon, the water gets almost black and the reflections of white boats become even more dramatic. But it was the contrasting wooden hull of the right most vessel that really caught my eye.
I often delete the names of boats, but I liked the name Simplexity so I kept it in. I”m not entirely sure what “simplexity” means, but my painting is of a complex scene much simplified by the process of elimination, so it seems to fit somehow. The brightness of the light eliminated some detail for me and the deep shadows eliminated some more. I just went with the flow and removed some background boats, a lot of rope, and much hardware.
The real trick was getting the orangey wood of the boat to carry enough to make it the center of interest despite the extreme contrast of the white boats against the blue-black water. To get the orange I wanted I mixed burnt sienna with new gamgee. Then I glazed portions of it with quinacridone Rose Madder and more new gamgee. I deliberately downplayed the flag in favor of the hull. Down in the reflections the flag does become a secondary center of interest.
My palette also included cerulean blue, phthalo blue, and cobalt blue.
I worked without mask this time painting each boat, in tandem with it’s darker less vivid reflection. After I finished the boats I added the water in phthalo blue dulled with burnt sienna.
Yes, I’m still playing around with photos from the Newport Fisherman’s Wharf. I liked the way the reflected light from the bay danced across the hull of the white boat.
To paint the reflections I first masked to whitest of the highlights. Then I washed the shadowed part of the hull with a very watery cerulean blue. I used cerulean because of the way it granulates and spreads out across the water unevenly. Then I lifted the lighter areas with a dry brush. Finally I used a small brush to paint in the dark outlines.
The palate is larger than I usually employ. There are three blues, phthalo, cobalt and cerulean. The yellow is raw sienna. The red is quinacridone deep red rose. I used burnt sienna to gray the blues.
One of our beach side pleasures is wondering the Newport’s history bay. Art galleries, fish packing plants, and novelty shops, private museums, restaurants and taverns mix indiscriminately along the bay front. But the best part of the bay is the fisherman’s wharf.
There is marina space for pleasure craft further down the road and across the bay. But I prefer the fishing boats. The yachts are are elegant under sail, but with their sails furled at port they look sad to me, like furniture under sheets. And few people tour the boats. The yachts are expensive and while not actually prohibited, visitors feel unwelcome.
The wharf remains full of life. Maintaining a fishing boat is an endless task and someone, usually several someones are always busy there. Tourists are smiled upon. Some these outfits sell fish and crab right off the boat. The sea lions chose the wharf piers for sunning too. They know where to fish scraps are.
The shape of the fishing boats may be elegant, but the boats themselves are not. Machinery, ropes, crates, boxes, tarps, crab pots, nets, buckets, barrels and other paraphernalia clutter the decks. Unlike the yachts the boats are often brightly colored. Fishing is a dangerous game and these men want to be visible.
We visit often enough that we remember many of the names. The Miss Law, The Sandra Fey, The Suki, The Destiny, The Golden Dolphin, The Orca, and many others. This is The Helen McColl. She was at the end of the pier guarded by sea lions. I took her picture because I liked her reflection and the rust on her side, an unusual sight on the wharf. She must have had a hard year.
I used primarily phthalo blue, cobalt blue, and burnt sienna. I used a hair of yellow ocher and made a couple high lights in white gouache. I painted the water and sky first, then alternated between the boat and her reflection making sure to use the same paint mix for each reflected part.
I painted this little picture while vacationing in Colorado. Obviously I didn’t work plein air. I used a photo I took last summer. We love to walk along the Newport fishing docks in the afternoon when the boats are all in and the fishermen are cleaning up.
This is the New Dawn in dock. I painted her because of the lovely reflections in the water. But while I began it because of the reflections, I found I enjoyed the subtle shades of gray necessary to give the boat volume too, especially where the floats colored the shadows.
I painted the reflection and the parts of the boat reflected first beginning with the red boat side and the gold float. Then I added first the lighter water background and than the darker reflections and waves in it. The lighter water is cobalt blue in the foreground and cerulean blue in the distance. I used burnt sienna to gray and darken and gray the blues. I used a little raw sienna to make the greens.
Then I painted in the dark rail, the lifesaver and the the floats to help me “see” the rest of the boats. The rails are phthalo blue mixed with burnt sienna. I used burn sienna and raw sienna for the floats and lifesaver. The background came next to define the masts.
With that road map in hand, I set about adding all the various shades of gray. For those I used all three blues grayed down with burn sienna.
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