I have finally finished the painting!  It was hard because it is special to me.  It is a painting of my son and his family at the beach, and it is a surprise anniversary present.  So, needless to say, I wanted it to be very nice indeed!  They (hopefully) won't see it here on my website before I am able to give it to them sometime this week.

     You saw the preview of it on my last blog, so here are the subsequent pictures as I worked on it.
Here you can see that I have started
adding the children in. They are pretty
light and hard to see against the sand
so I made their swimsuits darker.

That helped a lot.  Then I had to figure out where and how I wanted to place the rest of the family,  the  parents and the baby, plus I knew that I wanted an umbrella in the picture somewhere also.  So I played around with drawings until I found one I liked, then I cut it out and moved it around the canvas until I decided on the location.  That way I wasn't messing up my painting with indecision.  It also helped me decide how large to paint them.  As a side point: when drawing people, the body is 7 times the length of the head.  In other words, draw the head the size you want then measure it and then add that length times 6 to get the proper proportions for the body.  In other words, if your head is 1/2" tall,  the whole body would be 3 1/2" tall from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet.  Just a good general rule to go by.

So, here you can see where the rest of the family landed.  I liked the arrangement, but something just didn't look right to me.  I set it aside and just looked at it for a day or so and finally decided to post it on a closed artist group website I am a member of.  I asked for suggestions. BOY did I get them!  But they were all good ones!  We all decided that the clouds were drawing the eye away from the focal point of the family.  Then the eye wants to go out of the painting on the left (by just following the beach) and finally, the children were far too light!  Obviously I had more work to do!

     I redid the clouds completely, (everyone liked them, but they needed to go down to the water) You can see how they now add to the painting, but don't draw the eye away from the family!  I darkened the skin of the children, adding more orange to make them stand out against the sand. (the basic skin color mix is red, orange and white, btw) I enlarged the blanket to tie the two groups together and finally I highlighted the umbrella to make it more dimensional. Darkening it in the middle and adding orange along the edges to make it more sunlit.  Oh, and I added buildings, trees, etc to the background beach area to keep the eye from leaving the painting!

                              And, voila!  Here it is!  Hope you (and my family) like it!
     I found a BEAUTIFUL antique bleached oak frame to put this into and it is GORGEOUS if I do     say so myself!   LOL!!!    

18 X 25
I had to hand stretch the canvas to fit this frame, but it was worth it. FYI:  I had to order the stretcher frame for the canvas from Hobby Lobby.  Then I bought regular duck fabric in the fabric department, then stretched it and gessoed it many times to get it primed the way I wanted.  It was MUCH cheaper that way than buying a roll of canvas in the art department!  There is a video on YouTube that shows the proper way to stretch canvas.

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