“Reflecting on All That I Know" was completed in 2012. It is one of my most popular images. The original oil on canvas painting measures 36x48 inches and, since I am a slow deliberate painter, it took me about six months to complete. I use only small brushes, 3/4” flats and brights of smaller, along with size 0, 1 rounds. This Blog is about the basic development of this painting.
After a visit to Rockport Mass, where I drew several early sketches, I assembled the small drawings and scribbles and I began with a fully rendered full value drawing to use as a guide to the painting.
I started this one with a blue/gray tones ground on the canvas, that was a bit vivid from the start and influenced my color choices though out the early stages.
Without any preliminary drawing on the canvas, I started blocking in big shapes. I did not use a drawing on the canvas so that the rhythm of my brush would dictate the movements across the surface of the canvas. It allows me to keep a more fluid feel to the composition.
I let the ground color substitute color for objects in the painting until I decided what color they would be. Because a major portion of the composition is water, the blue ground was a fair substitute.
I added red where the intensity would be most effectively dictate eye flow throughout the composition, while I continued blocking in major shapes, and darkening shadow areas.
After the canvas was fully covered, I went back and started changing and fine tuning the color to indicate light and shadow, while keeping in mind the structure of objects in the painting as well as the structure of color relationships. I began here to define the differences between similar colors. Notice the variety of reds and how they change.
I continued with details like reflections of the shadows, more specific windows and deck gear, and mooring lines. I also started to develop the spacial relationships, the surface movements and most importantly the structure of the color relationships. Look closely at the hull color of the two foreground lobster boats.
I finished by strategically placing spots of color to indicate bright reflections and movement across the surface if the water. One recent buyer of a reproduction commented that after 6 weeks in her home she still had not found all of the different colors. Here I began to finalized my color choice and wrap up the narrative elements.
The final painting is a brilliantly colored interpretation of one of the most visited day trip locations in New England. I love to Visit Rockport, Ma., and I've worked hard for that to come across in this painting.
"Reflecting on all That I Know" 2012 Chuck Boucher
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