Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Under The Palms" - 30x30 Oil by Tina Bohlman


"Under The Palms" - 30x30 Oil on Canvas

"Under the Palms" is my most recent oil painting..... the result of a request from my daughter for "something beachy" to fill a 40" space on her living room wall. This was no small request! Her favorite place is in the Caribbean so she knows the subject well. I don't usually photograph a project in it's different stages, but I thought it important to document progress for my daughter as a record to accompany the painting when it passes to the next generation in her family:

Photo #1
With a thin mixture of Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Blue, I blocked in the light, medium and dark values in the composition. I really liked the strong "grayscale" rendering and was tempted to stop and go no farther! But.....even though this was a nice "sketch" I knew my daughter had somthing more "colorful" in mind....

Photo #2 I mixed up a big puddle of cobalt blue, thinned it with Gamsol & washed in the sky including a thin veil of blue over the distant island.

Photo #3
Working alternately between the foreground and mid-ground, I began developing the wide variety of greens. The greens in the foreground are darker in value and "warmer" (more red), while the greens behind the cabana are lighter in value and "cooler" (more blue). Separating colors from the foreground by "temperature" creates depth.

Photo #4

In Photo #4, I worked on the background first by painting the distant trees and enhanced the island mountain. Moving forward to the middle ground, I painted the beach, the 1st layer of color on the hut, and added highlight definition to the palms & foliage behind the hut.

Photo #5
Photo #5 shows about 1/2 day's work; Added more color to the sky at the top, gradating down through cloud formations ending with a cerulean (greenish-blue) at the horizon. Painted the water & added a shoreline in the distance. Brought the sand color forward as far as the trees and around the hut. I worked a little more on the hut; shaped it up, added texture, and defined the support poles some more. Painted the 1st layer of color on the palm tree in the right foreground.

Photo #6
Now it's really beginning to take shape! I finish all the foreground trees; palms, their trunks and all the darkest darks & lightest lights that gives them depth. More work on the thatch roof; softened the shadow edges and added more texture to the thatch. Worked a little more on the horizon, especially in the area where the mountain recedes and softly disappears into the blue sky. This stage of the painting was another 1/2 day - palm trees are no easy task! The application as well as the direction of the brush stroke makes a difference....If the brush stroke is wrong, then the frond doesn't take on the right shape.....and there are so many varying shapes with one upon the other. The shapes - as a whole - have to give the viewer a sense of "motion".... there's always a breeze on the beach. Then there are the bright, clear colors.....oh, my!..... ranging from red to green to yellow.

Photo #7 - "Under The Palms" - 30x30 Oil on Canvas
 Photo #7 is the finished painting. The "gallery wrap" sides aren't visable. Painting the sides, top & bottom involved another couple of hours with "drying time" of 2 hours between each side. While working on the sides, I decided the cabana was a little too "perfect" so I created a hole on the edge of the roof and repainted the shadow below to show sunlight coming through. Repainting the shadows under the hut led to working a little more on "edges" between the sunlight and shadow on the sand - making some softer & lighter, others harder and darker.

I delivered the painting on Christmas Eve and judging by her reaction I think she liked it!!!  Of all the "commissions" in my career, this one gave me the most pleasure; it was a special request from my daughter, a subject that gave me a bit of a challenge (very different from a Texas landscape) but most importantly, it's a painting that (I hope) will remain in my family for a long, long time.


Ann Rogers said...

Exquisite! Thanks for the step by step, always fun to see the progression.

Randy Saffle said...

Tina...great job!! I know commissions are challenging, but this one brought out the best in you for sure. Very impressive. Your step by steps show me not to stop and keep working because you turned average trees half way through into awesome trees.

T.Gomez said...

Excellent work! You are such a talented artist. I love the step by step...very informative. Thank you.

Renea Luong said...

Such wonderful piece like that is definitely a priceless one. And the thought that you made it because of your daughter added more value to it. That's why it should be taken with proper care, especially when transporting it.