All artwork goes through an "ugly stage." It's the long phase between development and completion. My paintings go through extensive ugly times. Sometimes they grow out of it and other times they don't. After I complete the under painting and block in the basic forms I begin to build space. What I mean is I start to define where I want the viewer's eyes to go in my painting. In a landscape I need to give the viewer a sense of perspective so I begin with the sky and move forward from there.
1. The basic forms are sketched in - sky, water, dunes and boardwalk.
2. I decided my composition was too symmetrical so I decided to change the size and shapes of the dunes and began to develop the sky.
3. The water needed some color.
4. When I stepped back and looked at my painting I realized the boardwalk ended at the horizon line.
5. So I lowered the end. With acrylics it's easy - I just painted white over the area and added sky and water.
6. Today I'm working on the sky. I'm not using a single picture as my source, but I'm looking at lots for inspiration. I'm not happy with the current state of the sky - too violent for a calm sunrise.
During my painting process even when I'm focusing on one area I add touches all over my canvas.This helps me develop a sense of continuity in my compositions. I want to see all of the colors on my palette throughout my work. If I'm painting orange in the sky I might clean paint residue off my brush by blending it on the dunes. This also helps to develop more texture on the surface.
Tomorrow I will work on resolving the sky. The ugly stage might go on for a while longer.