Cormorant Island Docks – Peggy Burkosky
This cozy little harbor scene which is so common along the coast of British Columbia Canada is from Cormorant Island, home to the once thriving fishing village of Alert Bay with beautiful beaches, trails and lodgings. This is a peaceful artist’s escape that I will definitely return to and can be an excellent day trip from mid or north Vancouver Island. The last time I was in Alert Bay was nearly 35 years ago in the hey-day of commercial salmon fishing, when the town was inundated with commercial industry and less picturesque.
Light has direction, quality and quantity and this is what to look for when out on a photoshoot or painting plein-air. Train yourself to see the study in black and white, with limited values: light, mid-tone and dark. I look for interesting highlights and shadows in dramatic lighting, however even on overcast days there are subtle values to work with. The image we’re working from is not our “boss”, and we can literally remove and add shapes (objects, whatever) that help composition. I find myself often getting locked in to large areas of value in the distance that I need to give myself permission to lighten. Planning the large shapes first, we are to make sure that they all alter in size, never identical. After all the initial planning, the piece begins to have a life of it’s own and it’s time to look away from our study and enter in to the “world” of light and shapes that we are recreating.