Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Sunset at Buffalo Harbor

An acrylic painting of boats in Buffalo NY
Acrylic on Gessobord
8" x 10"
Chris Breier © 2017

I visited the Buffalo Harbor on a Sunday evening with my brother, it's a great place to take a walk and relax. The weather was great and the sun was close to the horizon. I brought my camera so that I could take reference photos to work from in my studio. I was looking for a scene that would include the boats and the reflection of the sun in the water.

As I worked on this painting I took photos of it at various stages of completion, as shown in the photo below. The image at top is the pencil drawing on a white gessobord. The middle image is after I added a number of washes of acrylic. The painting almost looks finished at this stage but I felt that the boats needed a more solid appearance. The difficult part of painting is knowing when to stop.
photographs of a painting of boats in progress
Work in progress photos
top: the pencil drawing
middle: washes of acrylic
bottom: final details added
As the painting progresses I use thicker and more opaque paint so that I can make adjustments. This is the part of the process where I have to figure out what is working and what needs to be adjusted or painted over. I simplified the green plant life in the foreground and I worked on the highlights in the water. The bottom image is the completed painting. The boats have much more definition but I allowed some of the initial washes to show through. I also worked back into the sky to tone down some of the drips because I felt they were a little to distracting.

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