Soft Horizons

SK12113 Step 3

Now…..let’s get to painting. We’ll start with the sky. Since it is the source of light it influences the rest of the piece. Soft fluffy clouds in the summer sky are warmed by the sun. “Painting Forward” I begin working on the water. One rule that helps to give the appearance of depth in a painting is: Soft Edges go Back, Sharp Edges come Forward. When the distant edge of the ocean is first pulled over the sky the line is hard or sharp. You can enlarge the picture to see this better, just CLICK on the image.

SK12113 Step 4

To soften the line I make a series of ZigZags along the length of the horizon with a clean brush.

SK12113 Step 5

With a larger Bright brush that is also clean I pull over the ZigZags. The larger brush smooths the sky and water colors together, softening the Horizon Line.

SK12113 Step 6

Painting the water the colors are made brighter and more intense as we come closer to the secluded beach. This is another rule the makes paintings look more realistic: Muted Colors Recede, Intense Colors Jump Forward. The shallow water is greener because the sunlight streaming through the blue water illuminates the creamy, soft yellowish sand. Blue + Yellow makes Green. The next rule that comes into play is: Cool Colors go Back, Warm Colors come Forward. I start with the bluffs farthest away, making them cooler or bluer.

SK12113 Step 7

The closest bluffs are painted with warmer colors. Can you see how they come in front of the cooler cliffs in the background? It’s fun adding the highlights where the sun strikes the distinctive rocks.

SK12113 Step 8

I had originally planned to have a palm in the lower left corner of the arch. Like the tree was partway down the hill and you could just see the top of it peeking up over the edge of the terrace. It was in my sketch but I’ve decided not to put it in because it would cover too much of the rocks and beach below. Instead I’ll add a couple of pots of Petunias at the base of the arch by the door. I think the painting is so cool at this stage with the background complete and the foreground still sketched in. Tomorrow construction begins on the building, bring your work gloves. We’ll also be laying tile! See ya……..

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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