Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kayaker in the Natomas Lake Slough

This is my friend Steve aka Sterling Saguaro kayaking on Lake Natomas.  It was about 4 PM and the sun was intense, the water cold and smooth as glass.  The kayaks cut through the water soundlessly.  I snapped this picture from my kayak as we glided along. 

I laid out this painting in a value study first using markers. I followed the photo closely since the composition was pretty good as is.  I decided to make the background very simple.  During the painting, I did experiment with suggesting more bushes and trees along the bank, but it seemed too busy and unnecessary.  Right now I'm inclined to leave it as is.  We'll see.

I concentrated on strong color and heavy paint and bush strokes in the focus of interest - the kayak and paddler.  The rest of the painting was done with transparent colors and left very smooth and thin.
Kayaking in the Slough  Oil on 12" x 24" stretched canvas

This is the value sketch I made with markers to get a feel for how I'd paint the subject.  I think it helped me a lot.


  1. You have really captured the feeling of day and the movement of the kayak. The background works so well and I love the kayak color contrast. Beautifully painted.