Tuesday, January 7, 2014

View from West Cliff, Santa Cruz

View from West Cliff, Santa Cruz 
original oil 6x6
Viewpoints Gallery

The cliffs are very dramatic on the westside of Santa Cruz - a good subject for a painting.  As I setup to paint, it was a beautiful clear day and a wave was coming in from the right.  The surfers were just behind me at Steamer Lane. 

There were two main challenges with this painting. The first was to edit out details of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in the distance.  And the second was to emphasize the solid rock shapes in the foreground.  Emphasizing the rocks was easy because of the sharp contrast in values on the cliffs, the light yellow ochre color contrasts against the black shapes.  Simplifying the background is part of composing a scene.  I repeated some of the same shapes and used grayer values to make the background recede.