Winter at Muskoka Beach, 16×20
Colour is always an issue when painting from photographs. With this one, the challenges were in how to decide how much I should saturate the colours that were not in the blue field. I didn’t want the painting to become too cold, even though it was a really cold day, but, I also didn’t want to make it feel too warm either. So, I used a fair bit of yellow in the highlights, much more than the photograph suggested. I wanted the sunlight to show, but I had to be careful that the afternoon sun was not too golden and ‘late summer’ as opposed to winter.
The light was coming in at a fairly nice angle from the left and it helped to give the island some extra dimension. Bare trees in sunlight can be very much like warm sienna and the orangeness of that brown is a complement to the blue theme and makes both appear more vibrant.
The neat thing about when water that has been turbulent freezes, is that the sand from the very shallow parts gets frozen into the ice. This gave the ice an unusual warmth in parts where snow had not yet accumulated. This was a really interesting element to include in the middle foreground.
It was important to add that warm touch to every part of the painting to keep it unified, so the clouds have much more warmth than the photo called for, as a result!
The painting is being packed up and is ready to be sent to the Auction. There is more information about the Art at the Cottage auction and a link at my website.