Monhegan Headlands ~ Final Stage

Since the painting sat for a few days and the paint was dry I brushed on a coat of retouch varnish to the entire surface.  This brings the colors back to life and also allows new layers of paint to adhere better.  In order to warm the painting up a little and add some depth and translucency to the water and sky, I glazed a thinly diluted wash of olive green over the entire water and took it up to the lower third of the sky using a mixture of turpentine and linseed stand oil. 

Placing some smaller clouds close to the horizon line helps create distance and depth.  From here on I’m continually adding colors and blending.  Lighter purples are added to the distant water, progressing to darker purples in the water in the foreground.  A light Yellow Ochre and white mixture is added in the distant water, as progressively darker yellow ochre is added to the water in the foreground.  Same goes for the overall slate blue in the water. Detail picture below.

Monhegan Headlands water close-up.jpg

I used the same technique in the sky as I did with the water.  Along the horizon line you will find the lightest dabs of color, from Yellow Ochre to violets to light blue to a mixture of Viridian Green and white.  All of these same colors were added by dabs in a progressively darkened mixture the closer I got to the top of the painting. Detail picture below.

The distant headlands looked too drab so I punched them up with Cadmium Medium Yellow and white.  At that point it was way to strong so I took a thin coat of Permanent Magenta with white and glazed over the rocky cliff in the yellow areas.  This created the softness, a kind of haze over the distant rocks and patina that I liked.  This was when I first started to feel close to what I originally envisioned.

Monhegan Headlands sky close-up.jpg

I softened the tree line on the top of the headlands to have an atmospheric feel along with the grassy areas on the cliff top.  I wanted the main focus to be the most defined which is the rocky coastline from the middle of the painting on down. 

Monhegan Headlands.jpg

At this point I signed my name.  I’m going to live with it for a week or so and study it on a daily basis.  I find that if I spend time studying it, I can spot things that I didn’t notice before because of being to close to it for too long.  If I can’t find a place that I want to take a brush to then I’m done!

I hope you enjoyed seeing this painting in progress.  I will give it at least a few weeks to dry and then I will brush on several coats of Damar Varnish as a finishing coat.  This helps give luster to the painted surface and also helps protect the painting over time against scratching, dust and dirt.  Thank you for being interested in my work.  I’m on to the next project!