“Baleine!” c’est fini

This piece came together very quickly. Pretty happy with the end result. No brush work – all knife, so I pushed myself to develop more expertise with this tool. There were a few trying moments to get edges right, but it really opened my eyes to the nuances of manipulating the paint once it’s on the board.

The iPhone photos don’t capture the textural knife effects, but hopefully you get the idea of the progressive development in the time sequence below.

Light pencil sketch as outline.
Session 2 gets the initial values, sky, and some experimentation with the ocean colors.
Session 3 made big strides. Figured out the right balance of ocean colors – blues and greens. Whale tail has initial form, but needs work – too flat.
Session 4, lots of work to get the tail coloring and values right. Also figured out the water light reflection onto the bottom of the tail. Finally committed to having really tumultuous water, so added white caps and spray. Pure guesswork… no idea what I’m doing at this point. The painting knife and I were not on speaking terms for a brief span of time.
Finished! Added touch ups in various places, but most notably updated the values on the horizon part of the ocean – it was too dark and contiguous, so broke it up with some white caps and lighter blue mixes.

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