"Red, Right, Return"

GaryGary -
edited January 2013 in Post Your Paintings
Attached is my newest effort, "Red, Right, Return", 8 x 10 inches, oils on mdf panel. As always your suggestions for improvement are welcomed and appreciated.

For those of you who are not into boating activities, a quick explanation about the title. I did this painting after painting 'Puff', the funny little 'fish' which I posted earlier - Puff got me to thinking about my ocean going days...lots of great memories. One of the best memories, however, is at the end of a long expedition (typically several weeks) and the ship turned toward home....actually it turned toward a port where we would catch a flight home. I never felt like I was really headed home until we began to see the navigational buoys that mark the deep-water channel into port. On stormy days or at night you could only see one channel marker....we didn't have GPS back when I started going to sea in the late 60's. Channel buoys are different colors and serve different purposes .... in this case since we were headed into port, we kept the red buoy on the right side (starboard side) of the ship. So, 'red, right, return', means that we were safely in the channel, heading into port and really close to getting back to my family. That's the fun part of this painting for me.....a gloomy, dark, stormy, windy, choppy sea was all forgotten when I saw that red buoy on the right side of the ship! So please don't think I paint dark and gloomy scenes out of some sense of sadness...quite the opposite! :)



  • This is by far my favorite of all your work that I have seen. Fantastic!!! I love it!
  • That is an AWESOME SKY!
  • Looks wonderful Gary--great job! Where did the subject come from Gary? Real life, photo, imagination, combination? I'd love to learn something about how it was conceived and done.
  • hey there Gary, I agee with Mark... I was awestruck when I saw it... motion, atmosphere, your palette choice ... love it all!... shirley s
  • Thank you all for your wonderful comments and support!

    To answer your question Charley about where the subject came from and how was it done. It came from four things: a photo, real life observations of having seen countless navigational buoys, a personal, pleasant connection with the red buoys (going home to my family) and 35 years of going to sea for long periods and living with her many moods. It will sound a bit strange perhaps but I can still the feel, smell and hear the ocean when I see pictures of the ocean or even if I just close my eyes and imagine being back at sea.

    As far as how this painting was done...actually it was pretty straight forward. The drawing was simple (a horizon and the buoy). I only had to mix 3 colors (sky, water and buoy)....for each color I had 7 - 9 value puddles just like Mark shows in his videos about mixing paint. I put down a thin, flat layer of a darker local color value for each of the 3 major elements using as large a brush as possible - it dries quickly as I paint on raw mdf panel which is very absorbent. I then began to add increasing details changing my brush size as I went (generally this means the darker values are laid down with larger brushes and lighter values with smaller brushes). I generally work from dark to light values - lighter values will generally have more texture than darks. I can stop any where along the process giving just a enough detail to achieve whatever level of realism I might be looking for. In this painting the most detail is in the water/waves where I tried to achieve a more realistic texture of a moderately chaotic surface.

    For me, doing it this way helps to do the following: First, in landscapes and still life's I don't like to over mix colors = a looser mix.....I like to see little 'flakes' of the color pigments I'm mixing, each brush stroke becomes a little mystery of small color variations from the same puddle of paint. Second I don't have to worry about color gaps along edges of different elements (e.g., between the buoy and the water and sky). Third, it helps me with one of my many painting sins, over blending which can absolutely ruin a painting...now, if I have to 'sin', its because I try not to blend at all but the temptation to blend is amazing strong! Since this is getting way to long a response, I'll end with this. Fourth, it took me a long time to realize how important edges are and so this process I use helps me create hard, soft, broken and lost edges where appropriate. Remember, I've only been painting for 21 months so take this for what's its worth from a relative 'newbie'! I learned to paint from Mark's videos. Listen to Mark, watch his videos, do exactly what he tells you and some where along the line as you finish "xx" number of paintings and with Marks voice ringing in your head every time you pick up a brush (that's a good thing!) you'll begin to explore your specific interests with a solid base of knowledge and experience. I return often to this base for grounding when feel I've lost my way a bit. It makes for a lot of fun and great personal satisfaction no matter your ultimate level of accomplishment. As I said in an earlier post, I'd rather own the painting process than any single painting if that makes sense.
  • I really like it.. B-)
  • You know I already love this painting. I have copied it and saved it to my "favorite paintings" file that I refer to often by masters. Your landscape is now are filed on my computer with artists like Sargent, Mark Carder, Kim English, Jacob Collins and so on. I hope you really like this and remember what you did so you can give us some repeats ^:)^
  • Thank you TJ....I'm honored indeed!

    Hi Ronna! Thank you very much....very nice to hear from you and very glad your on the new site.
  • Gary

    Buoy o Buoy! What a great painting.

  • :) Thanks Denis! Great play on words!!
  • Oh this is fantastic. I have never been on the ocean that much but had a chance to take a day cruise in Alaska and one day was pretty and sunshine and next was stormy and dark and choppy. Boat bounced so much I didn't get really good pictures but this painting reminds me of that day. :ar! but so beaufitul.
  • I think you really nailed the power and stormy emotion in this. I like it.
  • Hi Gary...fabulous...especially love the movement of the ocean waves...you used simple strokes of color...but so very effective....love the colors as well... :) ...my only negative is I wished you had painted this really, really... big...
  • Gary,
    I don't know how I missed this painting. The storm clouds are seriously well rendered. I love the movement of water. The waves look beautifully stroked. Nice and loose. The bouy is excellent.
    Great story on how you were so inspired on painting this piece. Well Done! ^:)^ :) =D>
  • It is so well painted that I am on the open sea 8->... I vogue at the discretion of the waves ... but the wind rises 8-| ...
    ahhhhhhh I do not have sea legs, as we say in France... and here I have seasickness! /:) Thanks Gary! :D
  • I agree totaly with all compliments, the sky is simply stunning, I love this color and how you manage it....this large sense of profundity done perfectly!!!!!
    Bravo Gary =D>
    Ciao Maria
  • Hi Gary,

    Very nice painting. Well proportionated, good colors and nice texture in the sea. The focal point of the buoy seems to be in one of the golden ratio points and its balanced with the weight of the clouds, so the image reads very pleasant.

    You not only write very well, but also paint very well.

    Best regards,

  • Hi Gary

    Lovely painting. The sea is beautifully painted, you have captured it going from the foreground to the horizon perfectly.
    Your draughtmanship is first class.
    But to be a little nit picky I find the colour of the sky (or sea) to be a little off. The sea (or land) gets it's colour effect from the sky. There really should be some sky colour in the sea (or landscape).
    To me I find the sky too green and the sea too purple, when they both should be one or the other.
    Hope you don't think I'm being to harsh in my criticism.
    [Deleted User]
  • GaryGary -
    edited January 2013
    Thank you chiaroscuro! I never mind constructive suggestions. In many cases you are correct about the relationship between the sky and water surface. As a person who spent a career on the ocean's around the world I've seen all sorts of colors in both the sky and water...sometimes they can contrast sharply, almost funny and unreal if you were there personally witnessing it. This is particularly true in the shallower coastal waters where you get lots of runoff, sediment loads of different colors and concentrations, algal blooms, etc. During a storm with the light greatly filtered by the thick clouds, the true color of the ocean is not as affected as much. So I don't think there is any one guideline that fits all the possible combinations. Then again, I could have just screwed up!! :) I appreciate you taking the time to comment and hope you do so again.
  • Wonderful painting that captures the sea. I can smell the salt air just looking at it.
  • edited January 2013
    Amazing painting Gary. Makes you feel like you are right there on the ship looking out at the bouy. Oops, even feeling a little sea sick. #:-S
  • Thanks Gary and Kiki! :)
    Gary, its the Black Drum your smelling as they are being cooked on your stove! :D
  • Amazing painting Gary. Makes you feel like you are right there on the ship looking out at the bouy. Oops, even feeling a little sea sick. #:-S

    Kiki is so right! It really is a great painting. In my favorite files on my computer and I've displayed it on my computer screen as the background too. Just spectacular Gary!

  • That's really a cool idea to do with paintings TJ! Thanks! :)
  • Yep, u r my screen saver!
  • Hi Gary...great movement in the water I can really feel it!
  • GaryGary -
    edited January 2013
    Thank you Susy! And welcome!! :)
  • Hi Gary, I really love this one! The colors of the sea and sky are amazing and really give you the feel of being there! I intend to try a seascape at some point. :-*

  • Thank you Robert! Go for it...its just paint! :)
  • Still on my computer screen Gary. At night when the room is dark and I catch a glance of this across the room I am really struck by the depth you captured. The light in the sky and where it's caught is awesome. I think this painting is perfect. And it looks wonderful on my monitor in my living room!
  • I use to have a Turner painting on here and it had the same effect! You are in good company :-c
  • Just wanted to tell you that you have earned brat of the week award Mr. Two Stars and I got a painting in the forum gallery! Where is that green smilie? ; ) :-& Oh good! I found him!!!
  • Where is your tin can Mister?
  • Tin can = homework = "my dog ate it...really"! >:D<
  • Hey Gary I showed it around and your sea likes much ... in fact even though I am a "sea creature" (grew up in a seaside) I accuse the shot :-& =))
  • Thank you 'sea creature' (or should we call you 'crazy horse'?)! :D
  • Gary said:

    Thank you 'sea creature' (or should we call you 'crazy horse'?)! :D

    "Crazy horse" conveys the idea the idea but I prefer to think of myself as a "fragile creature" :)) :)) :)) =)) =))
  • Just came across this and wow, I feel sea sick!! Great job.
  • Thanks! I am one of those folks who doesn't get sea sick....now riding in the back of a car is another issue! Kind of weird, never figured that one out. :)
  • extraordinario trabajo muy lindo se ve el mar =D>
  • I'm sorry I didn't have time to read all the previous comments about this wonderful painting Gary I just want to say you've really produced a winner here, I love it it has everything ... =D>
Sign In or Register to comment.