The painting and the study
40 x 30
|Green Pail Study|
10 x 8
When I enlarged the boy on my screen, I found a few clues about colour: there was a suggestion of blue sky reflecting in the top of his chest. That became my anchor. Next, I had to decide if I was going to use a cool light and warmer shadows or the reverse. So that the blue chest would stand out, I chose to paint his body in warm greenish ochres and make the highlights generally cool (ish). These divisions aren't cut and dried and you'll see a lot of cool in the torso and warms in the highlights, but you have to start somewhere and that was my thinking process at that moment.
I also wanted to avoid a sense of specificity. The boy is meant to be just "Boy", not an individual; he is the movement and the moment. So, even on the large piece, I just indicated his facial structure, trying variations on minimal marks until I felt that the viewer would be able to imagine the placement of his eyes and nose.
Looking at the two paintings, I see that I've changed his movement from swift to slow. In the large painting, the child is picking his way along in knee-deep surf, examining the water around his feet for interesting finds, while the study shows him dashing forward leaving a froth of water in his wake. I enjoy the different moods and sensations that these gestures evoke: one contemplative and the other dynamic.
I'll be posting more beach scenes soon as they seem to be what my brush wants to do these days.