For this painting, my goals were to: 1) experiment with color; 2) experiment with lost and found edges; 3) simplify the design and abstract it a bit.
First thing I did was to abandon local color; several of the artists whose blogs I follow are very good at this, and it's something I often struggle with. I chose some warm grays for the cloud - yellows, peaches and pinks. The blues I originally chose for the sky were a bit too bright, resulting in a discordant effect. Color harmony is simple when working in oils with a limited palette, but is often a bit more of a challenge with pastels, particularly when working with multiple brands. For this, I relied primarily on my Unison and MV grays. A few Senneliers were used as well.
Surface was Mi-Tientes, white, smooth side. Normally, I prefer to work on a darker surface, with black being my favorite. After laying down the initial layers as blocked-in colors, I finger blended them to essentially form the underpainting and cover the paper surface. I was able to successfully scumble a few more layers on top to produce optical blending.
Second goal was to try and reproduce the discreet and disappearing edges of the cloud. After applying the initial layers, I tried to rely on scumbling rather than finger blending to achieve this effect along the sides and bottom of the cloud. Looking at the photo, I see where I could have done that a bit more along the left edge of the paper.
Simplifying this was just a matter of removing a bunch of boats and the distal landmass of Fisher's Island (part of NY state). I pulled colors from the clouds into both the sky and the ocean to harmonize the palette and to gray down the original sky. I feel that was somewhat successful.
Probably most important to me, however, is that this painting was just *fun* to do. No struggles - just a good flow. No futzing or tinkering - just purposeful placement of the pastel.
"Oceanscape with Cloud"