Thursday, October 28, 2010


Waiting for Uncle Gabe
36" x 48"
 These fragile, antique sailboats are in Historic Spanish Point, Osprey, Florida.  One boat is named Uncle Gabe, thus the title, Waiting for Uncle Gabe.  The boats were tied to Cock's Bridge along the trail where small school children rattled past while I painted with some friends.  A few even stopped to look at our paintings and said, "Wow, that's pretty good."  The small, plein air painting I did that day was a reference for this large one.
Uncle Gabe (reference oil, 8" x 10")
 Stage one: After a quick sketch in vine charcoal, a slap-dash underpainting with a big old brush and cadmium red acrylic (the gesso was acrylic, so a thin underpainting in acrylic paint is fine, and it dries fast).  Values barely indicated by thinning the paint.  This stage was just to fill the space and get a jump start on a large painting.  After so many 8 x 10 inch paintings, 3 x 4 feet was intimidating. 
Stage two: Painted fast, using a small plein air sketch and photo reference on the computer.  The dog was mostly imagination.  Just wanted to get a thin layer of oils down to see how the colors would work. My goal with this painting: keep the spontaneity of a small plein air in a large painting format.  If it were an 8" x 10" painting, it would be almost finished except for the dog's reflection.
Stage three: Worked all over the painting with thicker strokes on water and added dog's reflection.  Refined masts and boat details. 
Stage four:  Detailed background boat.  Changed water reflections.  Added details to lines on mast.  Added lines connecting both boats to moorings.  Reworked dog.  And that's it.   Don't want to overwork it.  Time to move on to next painting.

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