This boat lives in Camden harbor and was an end-of-summer project for me. Camden harbor is a beautiful place, but it’s a bit overwhelming. There is just too much too include in one painting. As a result I like to zoom in on smaller moments. This painting is still a little busy, but I think the shapes do start to organize themselves. There were two main challenges with this painting. The first was to edit out detail on the boats that are really only serving as background info. The second was trying to mix the subtle shifts in all of those different planes of white. There are plenty of other issues too, but these were the ones I went in wanting to play with.
Simplifying is the easier one. I just have to squint and keep looking for the big picture. The main goal is to avoid getting wrapped up in little moments. Capturing subtle shifts in the whites is more difficult. That means careful observation, a bit of exaggeration here and there, and finally trying to decide which color shifts should be pushed a bit, and which should be quieted down. It’s a tough one, especially in a front lit scene (at least for me), but it can make a painting much more lively to look for the little shifts in light and color.
This painting is 16×20″ oil on canvas.