Friday, December 20, 2013

Coast Guard Painting 2013

AMLEP Boarding
18" X 24" Oil on Canvas

           This is the painting I have done this year to submit to the Coast Guard for consideration to their 2014 Collection. The painting is of an AMLEP boarding of a Senegalese fishing boat. African Maritime LawEnforcement Partnership (AMLEP) missions are joint missions with Africian Navies and US Coast Guard to deter "illicit transnational maritime activity", or for you and me to understand, nab the bad guys.
           I liked this scene which was from a photo taken by Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith. I cropped the area of the photo I liked and worked from that. The ship was longer but I needed to work with a more rectangular format (18x24) and didn't want the ship and inflatable boat too small trying to fit the whole fishing boat in. I cropped what was important and happy with the results. One nice thing about painting fishing boats is getting to work all of the rust and faded paint in. That's fun stuff for an artist.
           I'm also happy with the water in this scene. The sky was pretty overcast, I actually added some blue to it up top but the reality of the photo was an overcast sky. Overcast skies suck for artists in general, remember everything has it's day in the sun too, but for an artist it zaps out strong shadows, bright highlights, more intense color and lowers the mood in my opinion. All of those conditions can make for a terrific painting but I didn't want that here. With the sky as I made it the water surface color works very well. No strong color reflected off of the ship onto the water surface which keeps the eye where it needs to go....on the ship and inflatable, the Coast Guard does have it's parameters so I keep that in mind with work possibly headed their way. This has been submitted so I'm crossing my fingers.          

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