- Classic wipe-out method: First, I rub a mid-tone layer of burnt sienna across my blank panel. Then while the paint is wet I wipe out the light areas and add darker tones for the shadow areas. I let this dry completely and then paint with full color on top of the wipe-out painting matching the values of my colors to the values that I set when I was painting monochromatically. This technique of letting the paint dry in between sessions is called "indirect painting."
- Alla Prima: This type of block-in begins with me applying the colored pigment directly onto the blank panel surface. I work "wet-on-wet" completing the painting in one session. Completing a painting in one sitting wet-on-wet is called "direct painting."
- Under Painting: Sometimes I paint my canvas with a thin layer of acrylic to provide an "underpainting" for my composition. It's often the complimentary color of the predominant color in my image. For example, If I am painting a golden field of wheat I would under paint with purple. If I was blocking in a green forest I might under paint with a red-violet.Other times I look for the predominant color in the background of my painting and use that as an underpainting (saves time). On the painting below I used the main color of the sand as my underpainting.
On top of this underpainting I drew general shapes using angular lines to give my composition more strength.
Then I painted in the main colors of each shape leaving out the details. I broadly painted the shadow patterns in the sand.
Next, I painted in the values of the sand so that I could relate the other colors to it.
Using my designated value areas as a guide for how dark or light my colors should be, I put in some detail. I placed the sharpie marker next to my image so that you can see the size of my painting. It's 20" x 16."
Notice that the starfish above only has one layer of paint while the conch shell has more detail. Developing the main subject first, gave me a better sense of the overall composition. Everything else in my painting was developed later.
The starfish below has more detail now. Since it is my secondary subject, I fine tuned it to have fewer details than the conch but more detail than the small shells.
Finally, I put a glaze on the background of the upper third of my painting to "lay the sand down." It gave my composition a little more depth and added drama and contrast to the large shell.
Yay! It's fInished!