Arriving at the Sylvan View boat ramp and dock was the easy part, figuring out the composition was the hard part. I had a complicated jumble of boats, docks, houses, trees and water to unravel before starting my painting. Each view had merit, but I wanted strong light and shadow, a pleasing arrangement of objects and a good composition

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I arrived on a view with boats in shade and sunlight, a diagonal on the dock with some nice shadows on it and I simplified the composition by removing some boats, trees and houses.

The first thought was vertical, but I wanted more water than sky so I went with horizontal.

Painting en plein air has it’s positives and negatives, one of the negatives being sometimes boats leave! One boat, probably the most interesting one in the center of the composition was the first to go. So I hurried up and painted that one first. Shadows move, light changes, colors brighten. It’s a race to the finish.

The final piece is called Magothy Morning. It’s a 9″x12″ oil on MDF panel. Painted in a cute little neighborhood in Pasadena, MD called Sylvan View.

Magothy Morning by Scott Henderson

Magothy Morning by Scott Henderson