Retraction: Chappy Ferry Painting Was Not Complete Last Night, But It Is Now

I kept looking at the photo of this painting, and the water just seemed too dark for the sky. I liked having a good distinction, but I overdid it. Tonight I lifted a little bit of paint from several areas in the water to bring some light from the sky onto it, and give the hint of the sailboat reflection. I think this is a little better, and I am happy with it now. Onto something new soon.

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Chappy Ferry Painting Complete

While my great interest as a kid in Edgartown was in being a cop, my brother’s was in driving the Chappy Ferry. They let him take the wheel on our trips back and forth and back and forth. I still remember the shape of the raised knob on the wheel and the change dispensers on the waists of the attendants. My brother had to have one too. This painting will be his Christmas present. If it isn’t done now, it nearly is. I need to let it sit again. I see a few things I wish I had done differently, or tried ahead of time first, but watercolor seems to be as much about process as finished works. I am happy to give a part of that process and the memories that go with it to my brother.

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Chappy Ferry: Learning from Ted Kautzky

Every painting is an experiment. I don’t really have my way of doing things yet, so I like to try to approach each painting a little differently. Maybe it was the weather, but today I was thinking of Ted Kautzky’s paintings, which my dad had referred me to earlier in the year. I tried to borrow some of his style with the trees and the town in the distance–it’s bolder than in the sailing painting I just finished, with more color variation because I used more paint and let it mix more on the paper, and I swiped in a fair amount as well. It was loose and fun, and something I want to use more. I think I overdid it a little, though, and need to go back to bring out some highlights. I will save that for next time once the paper is fully dry. More to do on the water and other areas around the painting, but the main challenge will be making the ferry stand out. I am not yet sure how I will handle that.

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Sky Over the Chappy Ferry

Last night I looked over my composition and looked through some watercolor books, including a history of British watercolor. I wanted to sort out what to do about the sky. Before doing some research I was thinking of a dramatic stormy sky with sun shining through from the side, but when I looked at other cases next to mine, that no longer seemed appropriate. I opted for a light sky of Prussian Blue and Ultramarine with hints of clouds so as not to distract from the ferry and the town. I will have to redraw the ferry, and I am wondering about a few other areas of this, so for tonight I am leaving it as is.

I did do a few experiments on the side that aren’t worth posting, but they got me going on a few new ideas. More to come on that front as well. For now, here’s a look at the Chappy Ferry painting with the sky in and the base wash for the water.

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Laying Out a Chappy Ferry Painting

The view of Edgartown from Chappaquiddick is postcard worthy. I want to capture the scene, featuring the Chappy Ferry that was so important to me as a kid, without letting the postcard feeling take over. That’s my challenge for this one–to instill a sense of drama, however subtle, in the idyllic. Here’s my framing drawing. Maybe the sky will be important in this one.

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