Friday, July 25, 2008

The Complexity of Piers

Look underneath any pier in a working harbor, and you'll see a tangle pilings, cross-pieces and interstices clotted with seaweed. How do you paint all that detail? In this case, detail is best rendered simply or implied.

In the little pastel below, I chose to imply it. I thought of the area underneath the pier as a dark wedge of shadow -- even the part where the pilings look thinner with lots of light showing through. I painted it all as dark, and then 'carved out' the pilings with light where needed. In the part that needed to remain dark, I laid in slightly lighter vertical strokes, but let my stroke 'chatter' as I did so. This gave a roughness to the stroke to give the eye the impression that more is going on than it actually is.

"Eastport Pier"
5x7, pastel, en plein air

No comments: