I gave the canvas a light tone of raw sienna, adding some darker smudges to indicate composition and wiped out the lightest areas. I established a composition with a large dark mass on the right, and a subordinate dark mass on the far left. The focal point would be the group of white boats which will also be the lightest light on the canvas.
Next I began filling in the local colors, continuing to work out the composition and comparing values as I go. At this stage I can already visualize the sun hitting the boats and buildings in the cove.
This photo of the finish painting fails to show the distant buildings in their full intensity of color. In the original, the roofs are redder and the boats are very white and "pop" out as the focal point. This photo shows the red and white flag on the right, competing with the focal point, but it doesn't at all in the painting. I've shot this in many lights, inside and out, night and day, and have finally settled for this heavily photo-shopped image.
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6"x 8" oil on canvas mounted on hardboard