I took the photo above three years ago at Glass Beach in northern California and have been wanting to paint from it for some time. I liked the sunset sky and its golden colors reflected in the ocean water. But I was put off by the dark lumps of the rocks. That is what a camera does when it takes a brilliant backlit view.
When I showed the picture to Bobbi Pratte in her class on Monday, she advised me that I paint the water first, then add the rocks as dark shapes, and finally sculpt them with lighter colors to make them three-dimensional and rimlit. Brilliant! She also told me not to get fussy with the waves and ripples. There is no way that I can copy these hundreds of ripples; just make them believable and DON'T go back after I put down brushstrokes that go in the same directions as ripples.
I did exactly as she suggested. The painting went fast. As it was almost done, I finished it later at night at home to take advantage of wet paints. I simply love the golden light that seems to glow from within. Thanks, Bobbi!