One of my Gallery Directors has been encouraging me to paint bigger and I have been unable to because my workspace just didn’t allow it. We have since moved and now I have a dedicated art studio (yay!!) and more room for bigger paintings. So I bought a nice big easel (more yays!!!) and the biggest canvas I could fit into the car ( 91.5cm x 152.4cm) just before we headed off on our Summer caravan trip down the south coast of NSW for five weeks.
While we were away I took hundreds of beach/water photos looking to capture that special moment to transfer onto my big canvas. I especially love the transparent wave with the light refractions on the sand and I wasn’t disappointed. The water was emerald green and so clear that I could see the little fish in the shorebreak. I wandered the beach for hours taking photos while my husband fished to his hearts content.
Once we were home I then spent hours going through all my photos, cropping and saturating the colours. I came up with about 10 suitable photos and narrowed it down to the one I felt would best suit the large canvas.I always print out my reference photo on photo quality paper and managed to split it onto four separate sheets using the ‘create poster’ tool in Picasa. This has been invaluable because it enables me to see the details of each section and I don’t feel as overwhelmed by the size.
Next came a trip to Bunnings to purchase a bigger brush and Eckersleys to stock up on paint and mediums. Boy did I go through some paint during the blocking-in process. I had to remix my green three times! I just used Yellow Ochre for the sand so it didn’t involve any remixing.
I’m gradually working my way around the canvas and if I feel tired of working one area I move to a completely different section. I suppose that is one of the benefits of working big. I’m taking work-in-progress photos each morning, although some of them don’t even look as if I’ve done anything!
I’m completing an Art Talk at Finite Gallery, Caves Beach, on Friday 1st April and hope to take this painting along with me. It won’t be complete, however sometimes it is good to see a work-in-progress. If you are in the Newcastle/Lake Macquarie/Central Coast area of NSW and interested in coming along to my talk, you can find the details in the ‘News’ section of my website or visit Finite Gallery's webpage to book: http://finitegallery.com/eventitem/painting-water-and-the-turtle-project/