Stage 05.1 – A Cloud Is Not Just A Cloud

Cardnell: I have had another run into 3am and then again more work this morning. Five thousand more micro brushstrokes into sea last night and around the area of the horizon. 

The work I’ve done on the clouds has really started to make them look as if they’re passing over your head. To most people, a cloud is a cloud.  However, they are fundamental to providing depth to a two-dimensional image.

For the work I’ve done on the sea closest to the horizon, I have lightened it and smoothed it out thus improving aerial perspective. I’ve tentatively added initial highlights on the seabed to the left and diffused the Bones somewhat. 

Let’s call this intermediate Stage 05.1 and that Stage 05.2 will complete Stage 05. In Stage 05.2 I will start by working in areas ‘7’ and then ‘3’. The Bones will receive additional work and, as located below the surface, more distortion is required.  The sky in ‘area 3’ was over-painted and, as a result, foliage boundaries were diffused and definition of the Sooty Tern was weakened.  These adjustments will be corrected along with more work in areas ‘4’, ‘5’ and ‘6’ to begin the process of reinforcing the ‘lattice’ of highlights.

After working up close in particular areas on the painting, my eyes seem to remain in a different ‘mode’.  For example, just with detail, if I’ve spent a lot of time working close and tight with size ‘0’ brushes then step back for an ‘overall’ look my eyes are still in ‘hawk mode’ and I can’t take the picture in as a whole. I just see small areas with all the ‘flaws’ mocking me.  The same goes with hue and tone, which means ‘fresh eyes’ is a reality rather than an artistic affectation. I need a good two to three hours for my eyes (brain) to settle down before I make a judgment on certain elements I have just executed.