In the previous post about the new painting I was working on, I was struggling with the background. Since then I scrapped that background completely and started over again. I realized that the rocks in the painting and the fact that you could see the horizon might skew the perspective and scale, making the curlew appear to be a giant species. I checked my hunch in Photoshop:
|Isn't Photoshop an artist's best friend?|
As much as I liked the background, it wasn't going to work for this painting unless I made the curlew very small, which I really didn't want to do. I spent the weekend repainting the background and then redoing major parts of it to try to get everything to make sense visually. I thought the scale on this version was acceptable, but it just wasn't a terribly dynamic scene:
|Background Attempt II|
This is what I finally came up with, below. I am hoping that all the foam and multiple layers of water will be interpreted by the viewer as being close in to shore, not breakers viewed from a distance. (What IS the technical term for that final, very shallow foamy part of a wave as it skims the sand, anyway???)
Using Photoshop again, I double-checked how the scene would play out and I didn't see any glaring problems. However, I've been staring at this for a while so I might have missed something. If you see any problems, let me know!!!
|Through the wonders of Photoshop, I added my model to check on scale and perspective before committing myself to painting it. Seems pretty good.|
Once the curlew is in place in the actual painting, I'll probably add some strips of wet sand and maybe a hint of a reflection, too.I just don't want to make the painting too busy. Funny, I started out with a vision of a very minimalist, abstracted background...