GLAZING & MY PAINTING OF THE SALT MARSH

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     This is a painting on a 16 x 20 canvas.  I chose this size as I already had a frame sitting in my closet, so it was a no brainer.  It will be just my luck that it turns out really well and I will wish I had used the larger canvas and frame it had!  Murphy's law.

     I wanted a salt marsh in early morning or sunset for a dramatic sky.  High sky light and low ground light.  This sounds easy but it isn't easy to pull off.  So we will see how it goes.  The photos of my progress are below.  Now that I have gone through this painting, I think I will do a larger version with a bigger sky for more drama!  Remember, your horizon line is either high or low, never in the middle!

I did not tone my canvas here as I wanted the light yellows to stay light.  I blocked in the dark land area as you will see below.  I painted this general idea of how I wanted the sky to look and let it sit overnight to dry thoroughly.

I added a second coat to the sky colors and blocked in the tree line in dark green. Then I let it set again.

I made this larger so you could get a good look at the sky.  It is done in yellows and purples (complimentary colors) and some orange.  I had a touch of the blue sky on the far left.  I also added some of the sun peeking around a cloud and some sun rays.  After letting it dry for 24 hours, I mixed up a good size pile of glazing medium and small amount of Cad yellow paint. (mixing thoroughly with a palette knife)  It looked like lemon sauce!  Dipping my soft brush into the glaze, I carefully brushed it over the entire sky area.  It dried within an hour, but I had to go out so it was the next day before I got to the next coat.  I mixed glazing medium with Cad orange for this coat.  It took on a gold look after that.  Nice!   I drew out the marsh and blocked in the water with yellow, then the marsh grass dark green. I added white to the water where the sun reflection would be.


Here you can see that I am bringing up the light on the marsh grass and starting to pull the sun's rays down to the marsh.  I have also darkened the water in the foreground.  I might add some stones under the water here, but haven't decided for sure on that.  When I get the marsh the way I like it, I will also glaze that.

I have worked on the water some and brought up the light on the marsh some more.  But now that I look at this, I want to go back and open up the water area in the front.  In other words make it larger.  To do that, I will need to gesso over the green on the bottom right side at least and start again.  I want to try and save the water because I like it!  Wherever the sun rays hit the ground and along each beam of light I am bringing up the color considerably for effect.  I think in the end this will be a cool painting, but I want to take it really slow to get it right.  I will be putting another coat of glaze on the sky, but I want to get my sun rays and sun itself the way I want before I do.

You can easily see where I took out the two points of green in the foreground.  I just felt that it needs more water there.  After it dried I went back in with yellow and orange and put several coats on.  Since they are both transparent colors, it required several coats to cover the canvas well.  While they were drying I started bringing up the light below and along the path of the sun rays.  I am getting excited about this painting.  I just hope it ends up as well as I hope it will.  I don't work on it for long periods of time as I want to keep it fresh.  Painting while tired can cause problems.  On that note, I stopped for the evening because I painted in some palm tree hammocks and ended up taking one of them out!

I am much happier with this arrangement!  I have to keep telling myself that in art if you have a elaborate sky the land must be simple, and vise-versa.  I wanted to add more trees, but as I said I have already taken one out.  I think I have enough. Can you see that the grass is brighter where the sun hits it?  This is not easy to do as I must make it believable. It cannot be too bright or too dark.  I will keep working on that detail for awhile I'm sure.  I ended up messing up my water sadly, but I'll get it back soon I hope.  Well, I'm done for the evening, so see you tomorrow!

Here I have redone the pathway of the water because I am going for the "S" shape composition in this painting.  It also needed to get narrower in the background and curve to the right. I brought the grass back in some and then worked on getting the color painted correctly.

I feel it is very close to being done now, but I have yet to glaze this painting again.  I am anxious to see how it looks when I do.  It will be done with a yellow glaze and then possibly with an orange over the water only.  I painted several more coats on the sun and beams of light.  It will be interesting to see how they look glazed.

     Well, I let it sit for a couple of days and then did some minor refinements in the grass. Then I coated the entire painting with a yellow glaze.  I feel it is finished now and have given it a name.  I hope you like it!

UPDATE: I took this painting to the St Augustine Art Association for the "Wild Florida" show and it sold!

"SAWGRASS SUNRISE"
16 x 20
low resolution photo
SOLD

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