Sunday, February 7, 2010

Receding Textures

Hendrick's Head Lighthouse is situated on this point with its popular beach. Most painters in the area, including me, have painted it numerous times. The challenge becomes finding new ways to paint a familiar site.

I chose to ignore the lighthouse on this trip and focus solely on the beach with its flotsam and jetsam at the high tide line. To give the painting some animation, I included a dog that was a ubiquitous sight there. Champ has been gone for twenty years, but I still like to have him around in my paintings.

Most painters know that as colors recede into the distance, they get grayer and cooler. But textures also tend to disappear as they get farther from the foreground. In "Champ", look at the debris on the beach and some of the foreground rocks, and you'll see that by the time you get to the retaining wall, individual rocks have melted into one shape with little or no texture. The colors on the wall are also a mixture of warm and cool grays.

Textures are usually prominent where the eyes focus, but peripherally, textures tend to soften and disappear. When textures are everywhere, the viewer doesn't know where to look, so choose their placement wisely.

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