silhouette it first
by Phil Wegner
With most of the pictures I paint I always paint the main subject, whether it be an animal, ship, bridge or whatever as a black or very dark silhouette. Take a sailing ship for instance. I'll sketch it first,but only the main areas such as the sails, masts and hull then paint them all solid with black acrylic.
Next I would paint the sea area the same. This leaves the sky, which I would complete. What the black silhouettes allow,is that you can overlap your silhouettes and still see through your sky to paint your ship and to achieve nice clean lines against your sky. Naturally, it won't work on impasto style, though even with thicker paint you could still paint just over the edges.
Finally, I'd paint in the details such as the rigging, ropes etc. At the moment I'm painting a sailing ship and am photographing it at different stages so I could post it when complete if anyone's interested.