Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Painting a Lobster Wharf

Here's the last painting from our trip to Maine: a painting of a wharf at New Harbor.

Lobster Wharf, 5 x 8 inches, gouache
The air is foggy, which is good, because it means that the light won't change too much, and I can paint for three or more hours.

Lobster boats come up periodically to offload their catch, as you'll see in this video (link to YouTube).

Four steps in painting Lobster Wharf: 1) Watercolor pencil, 2) Overall
wash and darks, 3) Far distances, (chowder break) and 4) Opaque detailing. 
Here's an overview of the steps in the painting.
PDF of Gouache Materials List
Pentalic watercolor sketchbook
Travel brush set
Water-soluble colored pencil
Water cup
Canon PowerShot Elph (point-and-shoot)
Canon M6
Color and Light: A Guide for Realist Painters
Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist
Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time


Unknown said...

I really appreciate that you show your watch and talk about the amount of time you spend on paintings. When I first started drawing and painting I really believed that all artists painted quickly all the time, and that spending longer than about half an hour on a plein-air painting meant I was working 'too slowly'. It can take a lot to change the weird beliefs we pick up along the way, but your videos have been really helpful for me in allowing myself to take my time in my sketchbook. Thanks!

James Gurney said...

Thanks for the feedback, Sylvia. I always feel a little disengaged from reality when I watch artists' time lapses, so I do everything I can to ground them in felt experience—not only the watch, but the natural sounds. I agree with what you say about the joy of spending time on a painting. Concentrating for a long time is an effort that repays itself mightily. If it had been sunny and I needed four or five hours on a piece, I would have wanted to come back the next day and put in a second session, because direct sunlight changes too much in 3+ hours.

Bug said...

I've got one of these techniques nailed: the chowder break. Hooyah!

scottT said...

Man, you really nailed the atmospheric perspective. I can feel the mist.

Vladimir Venkov said...

Very beautiful painting and such a helpful video. Thanks James!

Carmel Campbell said...

This is one of my favorite videos. I can't believe the detail you achieve in these paintings. Your sketchbook is not all that big. Seeing the photos of your watch was a real eye opener on the time you spent working on painting. Thank you for continuing to post.