Once the simple outline drawing was done of the flat, sandy marshland, the hard part started. Since the land is flat, the water calm, and there aren’t any birds in sight, the challenge became developing the sky and the lighting enough to make the painting interesting.
The rays of morning sunshine create a softly lit terrain, with a center beam of light leading right to the viewer, grabbing their attention. After that the light tickles treetops, pours over the sand, casts shadows and causes reflections on the water.
This painting is unusual in that once I started painting I rarely looked back at the original photo that I took. Simple landscapes in photos often lose much of what made you take the picture in the first place. So it became my goal to just have fun with it, work from the memory of how I felt when I was on location.
I worked hard at darkening down the foreground, knowing that it is furthest from the light. This would allow me to add the cattails later and have them standout in the foreground. I also darkened down the upper sky to help create greater depth and help with the dramatic lighting on the clouds.
I decided to cut back on mixing too much white in with other colors, so that the colors kept a higher intensity.
In the end, I’m pleased with the amount of interest in the piece. I hope you find some serenity when looking at it ~ that was my ultimate goal.