WIP Ocean 18x24 Oil on Canvas

This has been my largest project in years! I’m afraid that I’m off in composition but I’ve been stubborn and trying to adapt, I just get that vision in my head and press on I guess. It’s for friends that have moved into a new home and love the coast and asked me to paint them one. I have a photo reference but by now I’ve adjusted and cut up and moved things aground so it’s my design lol. I’d appreciate your thoughts …. this is a photo with an Iphone  😳



  • This is looking good.  The foreground leads my eyes to the rocks that step my eyes into the ocean.  There is good depth in your seascape.  I do have one question:  Would the beach on the top right get narrower as it nears the distance?    
  • Thank you @A_Time_To_Paint…. I’ll check on that, that’s a good point. 
  • I like the clouds in the top/middle and the large rock in the foreground surrounded by the really well painted bushes! The rocks in the distance are looking good as well. I think @tassieguy and others would be very good at giving advice on those rocks, shoreline, and water. Looking forward to seeing how you progress with this already very good painting!
  • Thank you @whunt , I’ve been working on this for a couple of months now and I appreciate the extra eyes.  I’ve done landscapes in the past but this is my first attempt of rocks and I have been anguishing over them. 
  • joydeschenes

    Lovely beach scape.

    Some inconsistency in edge treatment in the mid-ground rocks. Abrupt changes sharp to fuzz.
    Light direction confusing in foreground. For example shadows extended both left and right under shrubs
    Perhaps just the phone photo, but there appears to be too much white in your mixes. This casts a chalky fog over a fine picture.


  • Thank you @dencal , those are both concerns I have been trying to pinpoint .. the edge treatment and light direction on the foreground, now I can work on those thanks for your input. 
  • It's progressing well. Some thoughts from me:
    • The larger bush on right. It probably is very compact in the way it grows, but it seems too compact and neat and separate. I'm wanting to see ragged edges and poke some holes in the upper branches to see the sand and rock through it and unify it with the beach. The two bushes on the front are like squares as though they've been tended. 
    • Atmospheric perspective. The air is tinged with blue/ violet and greys everything out. I can see you've managed that subtly. Further up the beach it appears more yellow than the foreground and this flattens the painting a little for me - is it that the foreground is partly clouded and the sun is coming through there? Anyway, check your source, it could just be my own expectation.
    • Shadows: I would do a lot more with shadows in the foreground to give it some definition because the darkest darks are in the foreground.. Make a statement about your light. Firstly the branch in the foreground - vary it to show the branch has a different form to the rock and doesn't sit precisely flat on the rock. Eg, if that elbow sits up, then the shadow getting bigger showing it is holding itself above the rock there. It's a lovely feature, draw the eye. Give the rocks in the foreground more shadow definition. Even the big rock for any shadows it casts, cracks, etc. Perhaps the foreground was in shade and it isn't there in your source though.

  • Thanks @Abstraction  I appreciate your input. This project has been a bit overwhelming but I’m learning a lot. 
  • edited June 14
    Things I like.
    Rock pools 
    Sky, dramatic but not cartoonish
    Distant hills,  balanced hazy with interesting

    @Abstraction makes good points. 

    The inlet.
    I've always liked the way Bob Ross handled wet sand and retreating waves. 
    His sand is wetter, darker and more reflective than the main beach. His retreating wave is wider, with a wider foam line and stronger shadow on the foam edge.

    Bob Ross

    The beach
    Dan Scott did a nice painting of where a dune meets the beach. He showed the swoop of sand using shadows. Perhaps you could develop the promontories on the right of your painting to add a little contrast and another plane to add depth.

    Dan Scott

    Health warning.
    The Bob Ross and Dan Scott paintings are more dramatically lit than your composition. Also photographs of paintings can be very deceptive. You have the best view so go with what you feel is right and balanced.

    Finally, if a friend gave me your current painting I'd be dead chuffed!
  • It's coming together nicely, @joydeschenes. I'm laid up right now and can only see a very small image in my phone. I'll give more in depth feedback when I get home and can see it on my big monitor.  :)
  • Hi @tassieguy thank you and hope you have a quick recovery 💐, take care 
  • After working on my areas of concern ( thanks again @dencal  & @Abstraction @heartofengland ) I think I’m at a place that I’m just picking at it. But I am happier with it than I was before.  

  • I particularly love what you've done with the large bush - it creates interest for the eyes.
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