Monhegan Headlands from Start to Finish ~ Stage 2


The next step is adding in the white water and foam along the coastline.  I mixed Flake White (lead) with Titanium White.  The Flake White helps tone down the brightness of the Titanium White and creates a softer look.  I added just a tad of Viridian Green to the foam area.  This helps create the transition from white foam to shallow water indicating turbulence in the water. 

At this point I have ultimate lights and ultimate darks.  Now my goal is to work within this range adding mid-range colors by adding dabs of color, blending a little with a bigger dry brush, adding more dabs of color, blending etc…

The cloud formations are a mixture of Titanium White and Yellow Ochre.  I placed various mixtures of purples, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Orange, very little Ivory Black and Titanium White in the shaded part of the clouds, keeping in mind where the sun is coming from.  Cadmium Orange and white is also used to add variations of warmth in the lighter parts of the clouds.  Again after the dabs of color are added I take a dry brush and blend the colors together trying not to over blend which makes you lose the Impressionist appearance. 


I took variations of the ochre color from the rocks and placed dabs of it in the water to add some depth to the water, indicating shallower areas.  Overall I’m trying to keep a slate gray feel to the rocks, water and to a lesser extent the sky but the ochre helps to warm it up a little.  I don’t want the painting to have too cold of a feel.  I’m gradually planning to warm up the painting that at this point has a very blue feel.  I also added some light purples into the water which will tend to give an appearance of surface reflection of light. 

I’ve defined the rock formations more in the foreground and less so as they recede into the background.  Olive Green, ochre, purple, Ultramarine Blue are all used to help define the algae covered rocks. 

The next phase will be working on warming up the painting, adding pleasing Impressionistic colors, toning down any severity in the rock formations caused by stronger colors and the ultimate darks.  I don’t want to lose the contrast from light to dark but I also don’t want a severe looking painting.  I want to find a happy medium.  Letting some of the darkest darks peak through surface layers of paint can give the impression of a dark area without the dark area jumping out at you. 


I get very antsy at this stage, wanting the painting to move along faster.  Elements bother me, looking at unfinished areas.  This is why I never used to want anyone to see my paintings in progress.  I’d always have to explain the future steps I want to take and let everyone know that I’m not finished yet! :-)


Any comments or questions are most welcomed.  Thanks.