If you’re a boat person, you’ve probably seen a boat that grabbed your interest and held on. The same can happen if you’re a car person or a bird person. You catch a glimpse of something interesting, and then pow! It’s just so perfectly proportioned, a wonderful color, and you want to get closer and see more.
That’s what happened to me when we picked up our morning for the night in Buck’s Harbor last summer. I fell in love with someone else’s dinghy. But that’s OK, because I don’t want to own it, I want to paint it! I’ve shown you some drawings I did of this special boat a few posts back. It’s time for some paintings.
Lapstrake Dinghy 5"x7" gouache on paper
My first attempt was a gouache on paper study that was a blast to work on. Gouache is a water based paint, a lot like watercolor, except that it’s opaque. I’ve used it on and off for years, and it felt right for my first painting of this boat. I took the liberty of changing the color of the big sailboat that she came in with for a more interesting color scheme.
Next I decided to go bigger with a 9”x12” oil painting, and started with a value underpainting, above. While that was drying a few other boat paintings came and went, and when I got back to this one I was in knife painting mode.
First, I painted the boat, and then started on the reflection. In the video above, I show how I work with the knife to paint the reflection, using a jig I made to hold the painting so that I can turn it around while I work.
And in this video, you get a closeup view of the painting so that you can see the texture created by the knife strokes. To me, they add a whole new dimension to the work.