Well, I didn't get as much done this weekend as I had hoped, but I made a bit of progress so I'm happy. Saturday we decorated the Christmas tree and took Aspen to a Christmas party, so I didn't set foot in the studio. Luckily Nate offered to watch Aspen for a while today so that I could get a bit of painting done.
When I stopped on Friday, I had pretty much finished the mountain and hillside, so I was ready to start on the water today. The first step was to block in the main shape of dark color, so that I could work reflections down into it.
Once I had the main color/value blocked in, I started to go in and add reflections. I probably repainted this section three times before I finally decided to scrape it and start over. At the OPA show this spring, Quang Ho was doing a demo and scraped the entire eye off of the portrait after painting it in - as he scraped it he quipped that you "gotta practice non-attachment," and, "you won't learn and grow if you get attached." At this point, I had been painting for about two hours, so it was hard to scrape what I had done and start over, but that's what had to be done. This picture is right after I had scraped everything. Sorry I didn't take a picture of what it looked like before I scraped - rest assured that it wasn't working!
This time I decided to keep things simple and loose, and just barely indicate reflections where necessary so that the water wouldn't be the center of attention. I got the water to a point that I felt was working, and then went back in and fixed the shoreline, which I had previously painted too light and too prominent.
Looking at the photo above, I think that the ripples across the surface of the top of the lake are a bit too bright, and might need to be toned down a bit. They don't jump out that much in real life, but sometimes the camera points out things that need to be fixed, and I think this is one of them.
Moving on, I started to block in some of the grass and the shape of the rocks on the foreground hillside.
Before finishing for the day, I blocked in a midvalue as a base for the foregound rocks. I've only just started on the grasses, and haven't touched the trees, so things look a bit weird.
I'm hoping to finish this tomorrow. I need to refine the foreground rocks, finish the grass on the hillside, and paint the pine trees and some rocks that are out in the lake. There are also some spots on the mountain and hillside that need correcting once I'm done with everything else, and I'll probably do some work on the water too.
Today was one of those days where I managed a good 4-5 hours in the studio, and feel like the outcome only looks like an hour or so of work. I'm still not 100% happy with the water, but it's salvageable at this point. All in all a sort of frustrating day, but at least I'm set up to move on tomorrow.