The day after the Independence Day in 2002, I visited a marina along the Potomac River and saw the scene. The contrast between the brilliant sun-lit boats and those in the shadow made an indelible impression. Full of enthusiasm, I painted a full-sheet watercolor painting, also titled "After Independence Day."
The painting won the Potomac Valley Watercolorists Award (something like the second-place award) in the prestigious American Landscape Show at the Art League Gallery in August 2002! It was before the age of the digital camera; I wasn't much of a photographer either. Unfortunately, I didn't have the chance to get the painting photographed properly in slides before the show.
When the painting got sold on the last day of the show, I didn't know whether I should be happy or sad. Dang! All I have left of the entire exhilarating experience is a snapshot. I took a picture of the picture to prove that I didn't make up the story!
|"After Independence Day" (watercolor, 22" x 30"; sold)|
I cropped the scene for the new, much smaller, oil painting. Unlike the original watercolor version, for which I did a lot of careful pencil drawing, the new version was done with a minimal pre-drawing. The background is barely suggested in the watercolor painting; in the new painting the background is treated more boldly. The result is that the sun-lit boats are highlighted between the darker values of the background landscape and the foreground boats. So, which painting do you prefer?