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Making it nakedly interesting

The current painting that I’m working on should be quite easy. It’s of a couple who are naked, and lying together with their legs entwined, there is nothing on show, which makes the painting tasteful and elegant. They have asked me to place the setting they are on, on a beach, with the sky, sea, and beach equally split three-ways between the horizontal format. Ok, yes, no problem. I am working from photos that I took and there is enough detail in the photos for me to see all the details I need to do this painting.

So what’s the problem then… you’re wondering.

Well, the problem if you want to call it that, is that the painting is to be done in black and white, and is quite large. So the only definition in the painting is in tone, not colour. And a long horizon isn’t very exciting when there aren’t any boats, rocks, or far off land to give your eye something to look at. And the sea is a gentle swell, not a fierce pounding rolling waves breaking over the beach. And the beach will be soft sand with just some footsteps on it. The couple, quite obviously, will be the main focal point in the picture. But the photos that were taken had a different light in them than being outside on a beach would have… so I will have to adjust that a little to make it look more realistic. They loved my painting “Let me take one last look” as the basis of the beach, so I will bear that in mind as part of the artist mindset for this different painting. Let me take one last look

So, its not going to be the simple painting that it first seemed when I started it. I need to spend a lot of time thinking about the light, the interest and the focal point (the couple!) being central to the painting, but looking natural in that gentle coastal landscape…

Fortunately its being done in acrylics, which means that I can paint light over darks if need be. And means that I can blend the tones better to make this painting look as good as I can make it.

It looks black and white, but the lovely soft greys will add so much detail and depth to it!