The Distant Vista

SD4214  Vineyards and Beyond Step 7

The horizon line of the Pacific Ocean makes a soft transition into the sky. I don’t want a hard edge because the moisture in the atmosphere blurs the distant line, making it fall back. The water closest to the sky is painted with muted hues of Ultramarine Blue + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. Moving forward the water becomes brighter, mixes of Ultramarine Blue + White are used the the mid-portion. That closest to the beach is more intense, I use Pthalo Blue + White for the shallow water highlighted by the sunshine streaming in. This follows a basic rule for giving the impression of depth in a painting: Muted Colors Go Back. Bright, Intense Colors Come Forward.

SD4214  Vineyards and Beyond Step 8

The bluffs of Bodega Head and the Harbor are added. My wrist is braced on a mahl stick to steady my hand as I paint the details. What is a Mahl Stick? CLICK HERE to find out. If you would like to see this or any of the other pictures larger just click on the image.

SD4214  Vineyards and Beyond Step 9

Like icing a cake I add the surf breaking on the sand far below. This scene is the focal point of the painting, the vines frame Bodega Head and the distant links, directing the viewer’s gaze to the gentle sweep of the beach.

SD4214  Vineyards and Beyond Step 10

Vineyards in the middle ground also act to lead your eye to the sunlit beach. I love the California Coast, it’s so much fun to paint. Hope you’ll come back and visit again soon. I’ll be finishing up in our next session. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


One Response to “The Distant Vista”

  1. Bob Ragland Says:

    I had to tell you, I can paint out doors if the weather is not to severe. We had three days of wind in Denver. So I used your planning trick. I used a almost dry marker to make the sketch,
    on my panel, then painted the picture from that. Thanks for your
    instructive posts. I used to see your work in Taos.

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