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Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby RichardDevine » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:33 pm

Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight Update 8
This has been a tough month for my wife and I. Our cocker spaniel, Peaches, a beloved and dear companion for 15 years has been struggling with terminal kidney failure, and despite all the intervention, is succumbing to its ravages. My heart isn’t in it to type a discussion of the past week’s artwork. She's been there, at the foot of my drawing table, through so many paintings. She'll be missed. So, for now, I’ll just post photos of my latest update.
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby ehoeveler » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:01 pm

So very sorry, Richard. Prayers for the whole family, especially Peaches. E
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby catlady55 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:02 pm

beautiful work Richard and yes your art really should be shown with the professionals!
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby catlady55 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:16 pm

I didn't realize the current date of the last post and responded to a earlier post. I'm so sorry to hear about Peaches too, pets are just the best and great companions and I know it's rough. My prayers to you and yours also!
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby RichardDevine » Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:18 pm

Peaches passed quietly on Friday morning with my wife and I at her side. She gave us 15 wonderful years and we'll miss her. Thank you all for your warm and kind remarks. Your thoughts are certainly appreciated.
Richard
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby CarlOwen » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:36 am

My condolences Richard. I had to put my miniature doxie to sleep two years ago. So I understand. You can expect a few rough days ahead. If you want someone to talk to about it or simply vent PM me.
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby RichardDevine » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:05 am

Appreciate the offer. It's comforting that others who have gone through such a loss understand. I will surely take you up on the offer if it gets too rough. How deeply our companions can burrow into our hearts! Thanks again to all.

Richard
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby RichardDevine » Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:27 am

Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight Update 9
After getting all the palm trees in I thought next of doing the grasses that stretch across the scene, but I was anxious to put some water in, especially in the lower left. The palm trees were taken from another photo, pasted in, and weren’t on the bank of a river or lake, so there were no reflections. I had to create them. All I did there was to very roughly mirror the trees above, taking into account moving water. I estimated how much the reflections needed to be broken up by the reflections on the right side of the original photo. I also used other photos of similar reflections as reference. The reflections were very generally indicated to get the shapes and size, then detail was gradually worked in.
The colors used were the very same ones used to do the trees and sky. For the tree trunks: ginger root (P), 50% French grey (P), and a bit of dark sepia (FC); for the foliage: chrome oxide green (FC), chromium green opaque (FC), chartreuse, limepeel (P); for the grasses: charteuse (P), limepeel (P), raw umber (FC), burnt umber (FC); and for the sky reflections: cloud blue (P) and sky blue (FC).
Since the water is not still there was no need to match the reflections to the trees exactly, just give the illusion of being the same. I did try to match up the tree trunks a little more accurately because they stood out against the dark background behind them. The foliage masses of the trees were just roughed in. I made sure of breaking up the tree trunks because the wind was creating small waves that alternately reflected the tree trunks and background. Near the bottom, where the tops of the trees ended, the sky started to be reflected by the water surface but, because of the rising and falling water surface, the reflection of trees and sky were mixed. The science behind reflections is interesting and might be a good subject for a future post. There is a lot of information out there and it’s important for the artist to have an understanding of it to portray it with some accuracy – especially in this case, where there is no photo to copy and it has to be made up.
This area is nearly complete. I’ll work my way across to get the rest of the reflections of the palm trees in, then go back to the line of grasses. I may work alternately on the grass and the water reflections below. The birds will come last.
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby ehoeveler » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:06 pm

Very sorry, Richard, over the loss of dear Peaches.
I know she was so important to you and that you loved her very much.
Meanwhile, the progress is stunning...E
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby RichardDevine » Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:48 pm

Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight Update 10
I know said I was going to work the grasses after doing the palm tree reflections but I couldn’t resist continuing the reflections across the painting. Once I completed the reflections below the palms I wanted to see how the rest of the water would be integrated in. So, although I added an undercoat of chartreuse (P) to the grasses stretching across, I decided to continue work on the reflections.
The palms were taken from another reference photo, one that did not have any water, so the reflections had to be completely fabricated. I basically produced a mirror image – of sorts – roughly, only roughly. The water is moving, so there are lots of small waves. The wind is also creating some ripples here and there. The waves would break up the images considerably. Part of the wave would be reflecting the trees and part the sky, depending on the angle of the wave. I referred to the reflections on the right side as a guide to what the reflections under the palms might look like. Only the reflections of the trunks would bear a near resemblance to the real trees because they were light colored against a dark background.
When I finished the reflections under the palms they appeared a little too detailed, especially judging from reflections on the right side. So, I went back over it and scratched out more breaks in the images and further broke up the reflections until I felt they looked better. As can be seen from the photos, the reflections were just roughly sketched in at first to get the shapes and colors in, then I went back in to further refine them.
After completing the palm reflections I worked toward the right. Here, I had photos to follow. However, I decided that I didn’t need to copy the reflections exactly as they appeared in the photo. I merely had to study the wave and reflection patterns and then paint my own in. I copied some of the main wave and reflection patterns shown in the photos and then added more to maintain the same feel. Once again, I roughed in the wave and reflection patterns lightly. Now I’m starting back over, adding heavier layers, intensifying the colors and refining the shapes.
The colored pencils used to do the reflections were the same ones that were used to do the trees and sky.
After the reflections are completed, I’ll start work on the grasses.
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby CarlOwen » Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:58 pm

Fabulous as usual. Did I detect a feeling that you are a little out of your comfort zone by having to extrapolate the construction of forms not represented in a photo?
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby RichardDevine » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:28 pm

A little. I wasn't sure exactly how much disturbance to the reflection there should be. This isn't calm water but a river of moving water, also affected by wind. So, the reflections should all be at the same disturbance value. What do you think? Do you think all the reflections show the same amount of disturbance and look realistic across the painting?
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby CarlOwen » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:27 pm

Wow! A for real artist asking me for my opinion. I am honored. Moving on. Since you ask, take a look at the blues in the water on the lower left side as you look at the drawing. I suggest you extend that blue value about a third of the way at the bottom of the drawing and then lighten that value up into the white green water ripples. On the extreme right, do the same blue thing fading up into the white green area. Faintly fade the blue into the white green area in the center of the drawing. Idea is to have a larger area of bottom blue water on the left, that sun struck center water ripple area in kind of sort of the center and a small but bluer area on the bottom right of the drawing. I think the color variations and intensity would enhance the three dimensional quality of this drawing. The disturbance in the water would therefore be enhanced by making the viewer to see both the dark ripples and the color exchanges that occur in moving water.
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby RichardDevine » Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:33 pm

Interesting observations. You must have taken some time to analyze the painting. Before I discuss this, however, I'd like to get some more input from others out there. We had a very lively discussion, I remember, when I was painting the Sandpipers. I'd like to see if we can get another discussion going on this painting, also. So, any one else who would like to weigh in on the discussion on the water and reflections, please do. All serious comments, critiques and comments are welcome. Thanks
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby CarlOwen » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:31 pm

Seems fair to me Richard. I will wait a few days before I say more. Thank you for your response and I hope you succeed with getting someone else to step up to the plate.
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby RichardDevine » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:00 am

Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight Update 11

I was hoping to have the water completed this week but fell short. Other commitments took time from this project. A new commission is taking some of my time, and home and garden maintenance is still an important part of my day. However, I have still made some progress.
Carl, I read through your comments and suggestions a few times, giving thought to your analysis. I think you’re suggesting I stop the dark reflection on the right, short of the bottom. Then, replace it with blue water. That would be balanced by blue water on the left side. The two sides would each extend one third of the way in, with the middle third light in color, as if sun struck. I hope I’ve paraphrased you correctly.
That’s a good idea, but I don’t think it would work here. First, the white spots you see in the center are the reflections of the overhead clouds, not sunlight reflected off the water. The sun is coming from the right side, so no sunlight would be reflected off the water to the viewer’s eyes. Had I placed the sun in front of the viewer there would be room for some nice sparkles on the waves, but I couldn’t do that here. The trees, both on the right and left sides, are fairly tall, especially on the right, so the reflections had to extend all the way to the bottom. I had, in the beginning, experimented with blue water all the way across the bottom (with white in the center). That necessitated shortening the trees on the right, so there would be blue sky all the way across the top. I rejected that composition, preferring the dark trees going to the top ( and dark reflection across the bottom).
I hope that I understood your suggestions correctly and that I’ve explained sufficiently well why I’ve chosen to paint in the water and reflections as I have. You have given me food for thought, though, for future work.
There’s little more to add to the discussion of the water that I haven’t mentioned last week. I’ve continued to refine, sharpen and intensify the colors. You may notice I’ve broken up the tree reflections of the palms on the left more. I did that because I felt the water on the left wasn’t in sync with the water on the right. It seemed a little more calm than the water on the right. So, I added a bit more movement and broke up the reflections more. I also removed some of the white cloud reflections in the center.
I hope to have the water completed by the next update.
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby CarlOwen » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:44 am

Good morning Richard. Yes, you understood my comments perfectly. It is very pleasing to be understood. I understand your concerns about the tree height and the visual depth and angle of view looking into this scene. I agree with your compositional conclusion. By adding dark strength on the left and extending the green shadows separated by the blue ripples on the right with removing some cloud forms by adding those light blue ripples in the center achieves the effect I was aiming at with my prior comments. The variations of ripple strength and more variations in the water colors gives more life to this drawing. It is such fun being involved in an artistic discussion with a master. This work is coming along a little better than your prior drawings. That water loosens up the scene better than some of your prior work. That looseness adds a feeling of movement that pulls the viewer into the drawing wanting to follow the birds. This work will be most enjoyable to view when it is finished. Looking forward to what happens next.
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby ehoeveler » Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:01 pm

Entrancing water.
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby RichardDevine » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:27 am

Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight Update 12
The water is now pretty much complete. I continued to add layer upon layer to the roughed in reflection pattern in the lower right. Doing so intensified the colors. For the most part I kept the margins of the light and dark colors quite sharp. Within the lighter color patterns I did mix some colors, chromium green opaque (FC) and chartreuse (P), to mimic the gradations in value seen in the tree foliage.
The water near the shoreline takes its blue color from the sky overhead because the surface seems to be disturbed by wind. The blue color was achieved by combining sky blue (FC), cloud blue (P) and a bit of cobalt blue (FC). Further to the right, beyond the wing of the egret, where there is an area of dark shadow close to the water’s edge, I added indigo blue (P) and chrome oxide green (FC) to the mix.
The blue sky reflections in the middle were further strengthened with sky blue.

I’ll be tackling the strip of grasses across the midground next.
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Re: Work In Progress: Withlacoochee Flight, Update 1

Postby CarlOwen » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:50 am

Very nice Richard. I see you also sign your work before it is done. I usually sign my paintings in the area that is still wet with the end tip of a brush I have made for the purpose of drawing or incising my signature into the paint. I sometimes go back and blend it into the background like I see you have done with the color selections in your signature.
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