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  • Writer's pictureDale Jackson

A Color Study that may become it's own painting

I'm currently working on a color study for my work on USS Bailey (DD492) which is to be an oil painting on a 16" x 20" canvas.

This color study is acrylic on 18" x 24" watercolor 140 lb. paper, just a bit larger than the final painting.

In producing this study, I will most likely turn it into a full painting. It is, in essence, a good practice before the final painting in oils.

I've already sketched my composition onto the paper. I've taped the paper to my drawing board which is on my drawing desk. Previously I had my drawing desk occupied by a computer, and I've since shifted that to another place, so it's good to get my drawing desk back for what it's best for, art!

Next, I'm using diluted mixtures of blues to white to produce the cumulus clouds in the background sky. The paper buckles just a bit but flattens out when the paint dries. This is the reason why I tape the outer edge to keep the buckling down that's caused by the water moisture.

refining cloud structures.

Next, I've started working on the ocean. I use Tamiya yellow modeling tape to mask with because it has low tack and it is very good at not peeling the paper surface up, and yet it is very fine and great at masking. I never use painters masking tape, it just ruins the surface.

I'm using a light blue mix of acrylic color to fill in the ocean. This color is just a shade darker than the sky but very similar. It will be the color that is the reflected sky light in the water.

After removing the paint, I finish blocking in the blue ocean water and then I went ahead and painted the island far into the distance. The island is a medium blue due to distance and haze which dilute it's color and give depth to the painting. I will be adding some white into the horizon later to indicate more haze.

In the next photo, I'm starting to add the darker ripples in the water behind the ship, being careful to make them smaller and closer together the further they are in the distance. I will be glazing with lighter shades to make that horizon recede further into the distance as well as add sun glints and winds on the water. I try to work the brush randomly to avoid a repetitive pattern.

I start to deepen the colors of the ocean and, and then start adding some larger ripples.

Progress so far as of 12/14/2020. A while to go, but making good speed!

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