Sarah and I spent the afternoon at the Vilano Beach boat launching area near St. Augustine, Florida. I chose the back of this bait house mainly because I liked the palms. Here's the progression of the painting.
This was a 9x12" masonite board. I used charcoal to lay out the large areas.
I have found charcoal to be really useful in getting started because I can easily visualize the large shapes. In the first image (above) I thought the house was too small for the composition and with charcoal it can easily be wiped off for a clean start. Very benificial.
I began with the large shapes and wasn't at all concerned with details at this point but I was concerned with the brushwork, much of which can remain and actually show up in the finished painting.
The house was actually a green color but I decided to keep it in the yellow ranges to maintain more harmony within the overall painting. I also extended the roof so more of it was showing and wanted to make it a tin roof instead of shingles. I wasn't at all bound to painting exactly what I was seeing since it was not an historic representation.
Then the sky was placed in the painting along with a few subtle clouds. Putting the sky in at this point allows me to put negative areas in those palms later and by not putting the sky in first I was able to keep those dark transparent colors on the dark palm tree areas. The perspective would have to be attended to on the building as well as it wasn't quite right.
Refinements began. Opaque colors were applied over the original dark colors of the palms.
The side of the buiding bothered me. I didn't want to add any of the railings I saw on the building but in the final painting I added some tall poles just to break up that area.
Come to St. Augustine if you have a chance. It's a great place to paint.