Making a bigger stormy sailing painting

Over this summer I did a sketchbook painting of a stormy sky over Annapolis while sailing with my brother. This morning I started a larger painting of it from the sketch.

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I stopped here to let it dry before I darken most of it and put in the rigging. I want to have more contrast in this one than the last, which I thought was too dark. I will return to it another day. Time for breakfast.

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Another sailing sketch

Here’s another sketch from my sail a couple weeks ago. I did this with my compact kit in a Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbook. While it buckles more than the moleskine watercolor sketchbook, the paint seems to behave better with a bit more life. I think I will work this one up into a larger painting later. There’s some good potential here, with a feeling of really being part of the action.

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Two sky studies

On Saturday we went sailing. As we got out in the bay, a brief storm came up over Annapolis. We stayed far enough out that we didn’t get rained on, but it afforded us some incredible views of the sky. I didn’t paint them at the time but got a lot of good pictures to make some studies of. I tried also to take a lot of photos to study the way light and color work on the water, and how different size waves take on light. I plan to work up some studies of these as well. There are so many different approaches to capturing these effects, from the brush-strokes and opaque colors of John Singer Sargent, to the photorealistic approach. Each has its merits. I want to explore each, and will likely do so with the same scene sometime soon.

For now here are some quick sky studies before I work these up into larger paintings. It was a rich outing this weekend. I can’t wait to get painting.

These are of the same scene, just with different quick techniques.
In both I tried using white crayon as a resist. In the first I didn’t press hard enough, so came back in with a white gel pen and white watercolor pencil. In the second the resist worked better. I also drew out some highlights with the gel pen. In both what I was going for was a rapid way to get an impression. I think I rushed my actions in the effort to finish quickly. I need to be calm about it. The first one felt like a screw up when I did it but now I think I like it more. I learned a lot from these.

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