Taking It Slow

I’ve done a little more work on my seascape. Not much, but enough that I’m starting to question myself and my choices. What I’ve been working on is the distant horizon. Before I put any paint on my palette or picked up a single brush, I looked at the work in progress, identified the area I planned to work on and asked myself exactly what I intended to do. What was I wanting to achieve in painting that horizon, and how could I best accomplish it?

Because the area is far from the viewer’s eye, I wanted it to be light yet still distinguishable as a horizon separating the sea from the sky. I soon found myself going back and forth on two different points.

  • Should the area be lighter or darker? First I’d paint it in with a violet-gray. Then I’d look at it and think it was too dark. So then I’d add a lighter white and go over it again, only to think it was then too light. So, back and forth I went.
  • How well-defined should the horizon line be? At first I had a clear horizon line, but then I questioned myself. Should it have a softer, mistier look? I went back and softened the edges, then questioned myself again? Was it too soft, too indistinct?

Here’s the painting as it looked before today’s art time:

This is the Real Bugaboo
Work In Progress

And here’s how it looks now.

The Seascape Bugaboo

I definitely do not like my horizon, but I’m not sure what needs to be done. As I said, I went back and forth with it while painting today. Note: For some reason my photograph today is showing a much darker blue for the sky. I made no changes to the blue, although I did re-shape the cloud mass slightly.

In looking at the painting here, I think I want more cloudlike mist, even to the point perhaps that the horizon line isn’t well-defined. I’m still unsure though, so I’d appreciate any comments about the painting. There isn’t an actual shoreline, only a horizon where the sea meets the sky. Yes, I really think I should bring the cloud mass on down a bit — but what do I know?

I’m thinking I need a slightly lower — and much straighter — horizon line just above the most distant rock formations. Beyond that, I’m unsure, and maybe that’s not even what I need.

Comments and suggestions, please?


    1. Good. 🙂 That was the conclusion I came to, but at this stage of my painting experience, it’s really hard for me to be objective. Your comments have given me a little more confidence in what I’m doing.


  1. The traditional way to proceed, if you’re unsure, is to do more sketches, value studies, color roughs etc. so you can compare them and decide which way to go with it. Planning is the key. That said, not many artists choose the traditional path, and you are free to do whatever you like with your painting. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Chris. At my level, planning isn’t always helpful because I can’t always execute what I’ve planned. 🙂 I do try to think about what I’m doing, and making a few “comparisons” would probably be something good for me to try.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The colors don’t show in the photograph too well, but I do have a bit of violet in the clouds. I wrestled with the blue long enough LOL… it’s going to stay the color it is, but I’m grateful for the suggestion. Next time I might just do a purple sky.

      Liked by 1 person

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