Friday, April 21, 2017

Bone yard

For the second painting I used a photo recently taken on the north end beach of Bulls Island NC as my reference.  Barrier Islands like this one are constantly changing.  The currents and waves push and pull the sand on the beaches, constantly reshaping them.  Northern ends of the barrier island on the Atlantic coast looses sand, while their southern end gains sand.  On Bull Island the erosion of the send on the north end in the past few years has been extreme.  Old forests of oak, pine and palms have been left stranded on the beach where they die.  In this boneyard the bleached and worn skeletons cast eerie silhouettes against the sky and water.  A beautiful but sad reminder of the how fragile life is.

I made a small sketch to work out my color pallet and to practice the wet washes for the sky and sand; and dry brush techniques for the waves and tree textures.  This also gave me a chance to work out which branches were in front and which were behind.  Helping to define the depth of the painting.

The larger painting uses the same colors, but I darkened the sky and water, lightened the tree's shadow and added added more brown to the tree.  These changes shift the viewers focus to the tree skeleton.

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