I started out with a flat ochrey beige colored background for the sand with slightly darker shadow areas. It looked ok, but I wanted something with a little more depth…something a little more exciting for the eyes. I fumbled around for awhile until I came up with this process. I start by scumbling in a darker color over the flat areas. Like so…
Then, I smear a base color back in around the scumbles, leaving enough variation in the texture and value range so that it looks lightly mottled.
Then I go in with the little tiny brushes and add single sand dots in a variety of colors and values over the top of the smeared area. Enough tiny detail so that the eye is fooled into thinking it sees a lot more than is actually there. Less is definitely more here. Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot is the master of that trick.
Here’s what it looked like in process…
Now some detail images of the finished piece.
I feel really great having wrapped this one up at last. Cleaning out my studio, then on to the next one!