A Day at the Beach

A Day at the Beach – unfinished, maybe–12″x16″ oil
Okay…this is what I’ve been working on for a few days. The color isn’t the best in the photo. The sand looks the same color as his skin, and that’s not the case. It’s actually a lot lighter. I don’t know if I’m happy with it yet, but my husband says STOP! I don’t want to overwork it, but I feel like it maybe needs something on the right hand side…a blue bucket? I think maybe the green shovel should be blue, too, but I don’t know…Does it feel balanced?  Am I done? I’m putting it away for a few days so I don’t have to look at it for awhile, but your input and honest critiques would be so appreciated:) Sometimes one just gets stuck, and can’t see what they’re looking at anymore. 
Thanks in advance!!
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10 thoughts on “A Day at the Beach

  1. I'm thinking it looks pretty done from here. I would not add a bucket, I like the empty space though is is not really empty as it is filled with his shadow. Instead of putting it away, place it someplace where you will see it as you turn a corner or look up. That may give you a fresh eye. Good luck.

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  2. It's beautiful – really stunning and may, in fact, be done. There is a quiet, contemplative feel in his task that you have to be careful not to use.

    Three thoughts (1) I think it is great you are setting it aside for some time. I suspect when you pick it up again with fresh eyes you will know whether you are done or not. The suggesting to hang it on a wall, and walk by it and see it fresh is also a good one. (2) It may add interest to put something at the intersection of imaginary lines drawn at the lower third and right third. Why do I say this? I don't know – instinct? personal preference? this is where his body is facing? Beats me. So you can definitely ignore this thought if it doesn't work for you. Obviously Deborah disagrees. And I am not entirely sure. This takes us back to #1. lol. (3) The skin color looks natural; the beach sand looks natural so both are fine. My feeling is that the best way to exactly replicate nature is grab a camera; otherwise, painting is an interpretation, and you have interpreted the scene very well!

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  3. Loving the composition and it DOES look natural, so I wouldn't mess with the skin tone or the sand.

    A bucket may add some interest, but I wouldn't do blue. You could try this; on a separate piece of paper, color in and shadows of a buck and cut it out. Lay it on you painting, step back and squint at that for a while. That way you can try a couple different colors. I'm thinking yellow, but that's just me. Anyway, you can work it without overworking it . . . so to speak. You may find that you really were done, and then no harm done.

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  4. I think it looks wonderful! Love the water! Maybe you don't need anything specific to the right. Maybe just a mound of dirt or a falling down sand castle to show he's been doing something, or creating his own world along the way.?

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  5. I would consider this finished. There is a lovely, peaceful quality about this child so absorbed in his digging. My son used to love to dig in the sand when we lived at the coast. Don't do anything more than sign it, frame it and enjoy it. Good work.

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  6. I like it how it is and the green spade. If I did anything to it I would put in a few pebbles/shells to go with a mound of earth (like Raena suggested) just to show his activity.

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  7. I think you should leave it as is myself. My eye first went to the boy's head, then down his body to his hand digging, then along to the shadow on the bottom. I think the bucket might pull too much attention away from the boy.

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  8. This is lovely–I like everything about it, even the skin tone, sand color and the green shovel. I can imagine a subtle addition on the right like a small mound of sand to add a little bit to the story although it is great as is.

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