One Scene Painted Three Ways

I decided to take one scene and paint it three ways, a realistic the way “I think” a painting should be painted, an impressionistic, where I tried to paint the color and the light and the contrast, and a palette knife style.  I have since learned more about the impressionistic palette which I use in two paintings that will be the subject of a future post. 

So here is my reference photo.  The beautiful Blue Grotto in Malta.  On my honeymoon my husband and I actually visited this and this is one of our vacation photos.  Sadly, little motorboat after little motorboat arrived almost on a train schedule to this peaceful grotto.  In a another time it was probably a lovely place to sit in a boat, gently bobbing along, uncorking a bottle of wine and breaking some fresh bread and perhaps stealing a few kisses from one another.   However, we, along with others, came, looked, shot a few pictures and buzzed out again because there was a boat in front of us and one behind.


Now here is my favorite of the three.  The “impressionistic style”.  I somehow feel I captured more of the spirit of the place in this one.  But the photo is rock and water.  Easy peasy right?  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  I have since learned painting realistic rock is extremely hard (at least for me) and water as well is an “advanced” technique.

 Next, side by side are my realistic and impressionistic style.

 The realistic (right) seems to lack the “poetry” the impressionistic one has.  It seems a bit flat.

And lastly my palette knife technique.   This one was almost an afterthought and done on a very small canvas.  But I wanted to try this technique.

 One of the things I found very difficult with this is that the rock is almost all creamy white with very slight variations in it.  To try and give the depth and the texture I had to exaggerate, and almost intensify colors that were only barely visible.   I found this a challenging exercise.  After doing this I had a complex dream that caused me to look more at the impressionists.  Perhaps I’ll tell you a little about the dream in my next posting which will be about using the impressionistic palette.