Porto Venere (study)| 9” x 12” | Oil on Canvas Paper
This composition has been on my short list for awhile, so I’m very excited to have put brush to canvas finally. The subject matter is a photo I took from the hillside in Porto Venere, Italy. The power of the sun shining on the church tower with the beautiful blue water in the background was an ideal setup for this piece. It kinda painted itself.
I’ve done a number of practice (studies) pieces in the past to get an idea of what I need to consider prior to tackling a larger composition. It’s extremely helpful to get a sense of proportions, values, and start thinking through edits that will make the piece work regardless of what’s in the photo or real life. My problem with doing a study is that I always end up getting sucked into the details – I just can’t help it – so they drag on and I lose the value of doing a practice piece.
To solve this problem, Porto Venere was time bound to 2 hours after the block-in was done. I literally ran a stopwatch to ensure I stayed true to the spirit of the study and focus on the compositional core elements, not the fine details. It forced me to make quick decisions and gave the piece a more painterly style, which I like and will try to incorporate into the full-size painting.
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