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Monday, January 4, 2016

The cliffs along Half Moon Bay

A few years ago I was in Half Moon Bay, California to spend Easter with Richard's niece. Richard and his brother and I spent the morning walking along the cliffs and then back via the beach. My brother-in-law is still on the cliffs as he did not join us on the beach walk. That would be him scanning the horizon.
Cliffs-Half Moon Bay, 24x24, oil
I know this is somewhat of a 'gutsy' composition. Not only does it slash the square into almost two identical shapes, but the cliffs fade off the canvas! I have the bird soaring to act like a period to stop the viewer as well as the hills in the distance to go back into rather than off to the left.  The figures in the foreground also help to anchor the viewer in the composition. So the thought was the viewer would start with the figure (my brother-in-law) go off towards the left, see the bird, drop down to the figure and come back across the beach.

My aim was to keep each large shape in one value group yet keep those shapes interesting. So, sky, cliffs and beach. As a graphic designer I want to make each shape a flat color so this is my continuing struggle to add interest with texture (paint quality), subtle value shifts and layering of paint. Layering paint sounds so easy but for me it is not. I want to cover the previous layer, every speck of it! Sand is a particular favorite of mine to practice using texture and value shifts. There is so much blue (reflected sky after all) in that sand with some rose and ocher too.


Anonymous said...

RIght away I notice how the cloud/sky patterns mirror the land shapes and draw my eyes vertically first. The sudden flash of contrasting color and detail then draws me to the center of the painting. I did not notice that the cliffs are fading off until I read your comment. I like the way you use progressive shades of color rather than clear line to define the cliff faces. This is a very comforting portrayal of hope and rest together. LNB

victoriasart said...

LNB, welcome back! I have missed your insightful observations on my work. I especially appreciate your comments on the cliffs and I did not want to overwork them and from your comments I didn't! Thank you for taking the time to look at my recent posts and comment this morning.