Ever get really excited when you start painting a picture, just like, this is what I really really want to do?  Well that is this painting to me, a feel good, excited, from the start, lol.

I blocked in one night, and then last night got to the point above. I put the rocks in using a palette knife and the rest using a 2" brush.  I am mixing my own colours, with the exception/addition of one brown.

I know my light/shadow is not finished and the water path incomplete still (got called for supper, lol).   I really like my colour scheme, do not plan to follow the photo. I am just really enjoying trying to paint loosely, very freeing not getting hung up on details. 

Comments and suggestions welcome, I am sure there is a pink elephant here that I am not seeing.

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I don't even know where to start...I thought I was off to such a good start and now I just want to make it stand in a corner until it promises to behave. Started with the water, brush strokes too small, then too wide, water colour too much dark, add some light, too much light, add some green, take away green, add more dark, wrong kind of dark, and what about the waves? Too many, too high, not enough...ok forget the water for a while, of course had added too much foam, now rocks too small, ok, no problem, make them bigger, now too big in the middle? Will have to work on the colour of ones on left, want more orange...time to walk away, grab a glass of wine and a snack and hope inspiration travels to my fingertips by tomorrow. Or some kind folk here could tell me what the heck to do. Forget the photo, that's now put away, just want my painting to work. Am I sounding a wee bit frustrated? Lol. Please save me. Wish I had put the brush away many days ago.

Haha, I know exactly how you feel! Don't despair! Think of all the things you are learning with this one! It is a lot more fun when I let go of the idea that each painting has to be a perfect one and focus instead on what I'm learning. Otherwise I get in a sweaty palms panic mode.

And then I start tightening up and getting smaller and smaller. The best thing when I get in that mode is to put it away and come back in a day or two.

What you have lost, I think is your values. Your original start was really close - it just had the close up water too dark. Now you have kind of neutralized those value shifts. See especially in the rocks.

Just get that bigger brush back out and try again! The only reason a painting gets overworked is not how many layers you have on it, it's getting the last layer right :)

Squint your eyes and pick out those big shapes of light and dark.

As far as color. Have you ever tried taking a piece of white paper or card stock and punching a small hole in it? You can use that to put up against your photo and isolate a color. I can see how in your frustration you have moved the color of the water especially to basically lighter and darker versions of the same color. Once you have those big value shapes in you can isolate a color and realize how many different shades of blues and greens there are. Just add a touch of this or that every time you get more paint on your brush. But they are subtle. The key is to always check a color you are mixing up against the colors already on the canvas, not against the white of the palette. Very subtle color shifts will look rich against other subtle colors, but grey on your palette, which pushes you to make the colors exaggerated. Which is fine if that is what you are going for!

This is a great opportunity to experiment! Go with your instinct! Ask yourself What if? And then just give it a try.

I like to put on some ambient ocean sound music when I paint the ocean :) Let go of expectations, spend some time looking at your photo and loving the ocean. See if you can smaell it. Getting out of your head and into your heart goes a long way toward making the whole experience worth it, right?

Thanks Karen, I feel like you've just thrown me a life preserver.  And I confess, I had gone down to a 1" brush....I am going to go back to the bigger brush and stick with it only -yet another learning challenge, I mean creative opportunity ;).

Thanks so much!

You are welcome Marion!

And a 1" brush isn't that small for a painting this size! It may have more to do with setting a stroke, adjusting the edge if needed, and then leaving it be. You may be "petting the canvas" which means going over the same stroke over and over. This tends to make the strokes look fussy. Instead, make sure you have a good amount of paint on your brush, then set the stroke and leave it. If you find yourself getting into "pet" mode, make yourself stop between each stroke, and contemplate where the next should go. I often spend as much time looking at the painting as laying down strokes.

Think more about mixing and choosing the right color and value. Mixing and testing, mixing and testing, then when it is right, be sure you have lots of paint on the brush, lay down the stroke and back away :)

Excellent finish! And I'm so glad you didn't give up! Every single painting is a learning experience!

And it turned out great!

Thanks Karen. Yes I learned a lot. Definitely is frustrating and overwhelming at times, lol. Love that you can walk away and then come back fresh.  So grateful I can come here to vent and ask for help.  Really helps to have a fresh pair of eyes, not to mention know-how and experience when stuck, and encouragement.

Yes, it can get frustrating! For me the key is to stop thinking about the outcome - the finished painting - and just focus on the process. The current challenge I'm trying to puzzle out. Without that judgemental critic sitting on my shoulder :) He's not allowed in the studio any more :)


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