Simon Bland

A Blog About Oil Painting

Painting Tip #3: Add Light to a Painting to Make it More Interesting

by Simon Bland / May 19, 2017 / Boat Painting Tip Plein air Sky

Painting of the fishing boat Darla R by artist Simon Bland

Darla R (plein air and studio). 9x12, oil on linen panel. 2016/17

This week I've reduced the number on paintings in my scrap pile by three. This one is the latest one.*
Darla R is a plein air work, done on location at the Fisherman's Terminal in Seattle. I always liked the original piece, but felt that it lacked enough light to make it marketable.
It turns out that it was an easy problem to fix. I repainted the entire background to make it lighter and made some of the boat darker. The changes make for higher contrast between the background and the boat. This, in turn, makes the light look stronger.
[* I should note that there has also been one failed attempt. That one looks like it deserves to be in the trash. I try not to blog about failures often, even though they happen all the time.]