I once had a painting of the Outer Banks that I loved; but for whatever reason didn't sell. It was in my inventory for a number of years, so instead of confining it to the bins any longer, I decided to embrace the fact that I still had possession of it. In fact, I decorated my bedroom around it, painting the walls a beautiful soft gray color that perfectly picked up some of the muted tones in the painting. Unbelievably, two weeks after I had my beautiful "new bedroom" complete, I received a call from a collector asking if it was still available. Yes, I sold it. I am trying to run a business, after all. I do have one or two pieces that I am trying to keep for myself, but for the most part, I'm just not one to turn down sales. So what does this have to do with the painting below? No, it's not the "one that got away" (you can see that one here). This piece is one of a few studies I'm working on in preparation for a large new painting I intend to hang (at least for a little while) in my now repainted bedroom. Well, I had a nice big gallery wrapped 30x40" canvas, and a nice blank wall, so I figured, why not?
"Hatteras Dunes, Study I" 6x8" Oil on Canvas
This study is based on two different plein air paintings I did on Hatteras Island on recent family vacations. I am largely basing my composition on a piece called "Hatteras Island Dunes II". But because that painting was 8x10" (a 4:5 ratio), I have to make a few compositional changes to format the new piece to a 30x40" gallery wrapped canvas (3:4 ratio).
As you can see in this new composition, I have changed the direction of the sandy path that leads to the beach and rearranged some shrubs somewhat. I also felt like I wanted a bit more sky showing than in the plein air, so I have lowered the horizon a touch to allow for that. For the sky I am loosely referencing both the above mentioned plein air, as well as another plein air piece from last summer, which you can see here.
I don't seem to have any actual photos of these scenes to reference, so my sole references are my plein air paintings. This is a bit different for me as I usually use both a photo source and my painting when I work from plein air to studio. So it will be interesting to see if I can make this fly! My plan is to try at least one more study before launching into the big canvas, but this is a good start.