I love painting back-lit objects, and especially back-lit boats on the water. The contrast of the dark masses create a foundation that pops into a vibrant image with the addition of some carefully placed highlights. Even though I’ve painted this type of scene before, I always think I can get it just right if I try one more time. This was a recent day in Spruce Head, ME. I painted some studies of the skies and islands as clouds blew through and cleared out. As the day got later and clear skies took over, I couldn’t resist painting this view. The light gets strongest on the water as the sun gets lower, which unfortunately means I’m racing to keep up and get my painting blocked in. Even though there is a lot of contrast between dark and light objects in this type of scene, I want to rely more on rich color, and the warm and cool differences. Color temperature makes the sense of light in a scene pop more than anything else.
This painting is 18×24″ and will be on display at Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and available this summer through their fundraising auction in July.