Hawaii Painting

I recently started this painting for a commission project. When I discovered how big they wanted it to be (4′ x 4′) I had to think of the supplies needed to start and so forth. For one, I knew I was going to need a lot of paint to fill in the surface area. Not to mention the amount of paper for collaging. Then I had to factor in how much time I would spend on completing it. So far, I have put two weeks into it and I think it might actually take another month.

With all that said, I can now express my experience working on the painting. The whole concept is to create the focal point centered on the Banyon tree (tropical tree native to Hawaiian islands), with the coast breathing forth in the background. First I wanted to add just a shoreline but then got to thinking we could add in a small boat to give some mystery. Now that I had a storyline in place, it was time to explore more abstract elements to contribute to the small section of ocean I had going on the right side. I had collaged certain areas and painted over to create a whimsical effect. Note: I do this often in my painting to give depth and surrealism. I wanted the painting to carry out intricate detail throughout. For the time being, its a little bit of abstract vs. realism and I can’t help but fight between the two. Bear with me.

Progress Update – Week 3

Banyon tree painting
Its the start of week three of painting and I am feeling more and more into the flow of things. Its paintings like these that take you back to spaces in time you remember. As I’ve said before, I used to go to the beach during the summers and boogie board/body surf. There was a sense of peace being out in the open water as the waves would crash and hiss. The power of the water created such a force in each continual motion. Then looking out onto the never-ending deep blue woke up sensations of fear, for you were in its turf now. Even though it could be scary at times, I still managed to keep my sanity and use my imaginary fins.

This week will be the week I continue to push the paint. Thank God for my Liquitex Super Gel! I’ve been mixing it into my Phthalo blue, brown umber and a smidge of yellow. Its creating that tooth that gives the painting more 3-dimensional shape. I hope to continue this process which will in time bring the painting to life.

“To study the ocean is to study an infinite amount of possibilities.”

And now ends week 3 of painting as I dive deeper into the detailing and fine tuning. Everyone keeps telling me its done, but I just can’t say it is just yet. There is so much more little touch-ups of detail left that me, the perfectionist, must perfect. I must say taking my time with the whole project has allowed my thought process to wisen up as I try to imagine elements to compliment the setting. The flowers came to mind last night, along with another mountainside in the far background. I believe it is becoming more of a dreamlike sanctuary to run away to. Nothing has to make sense, it can just be. Still thinking I need to somehow add in some seashells along the shore and give them some tooth such as the waves do. The waves have so many layers from the Liquidex gel that its the only thing protruding outward from the canvas. This is the effect I wanted so you could look upon it and step into Hawaii. Another idea I came across was to change my horizon coloring. I loved the bright orange and red but being that it was so large I had to elaborate on other colors. I did some research on a couple more pictures of Hawaii sunsets and found a lilac purple transcending into yellow and red. When I added the lilac I found I could go darker with the blue (periwinkle) and I add in stars. Note: I haven’t added in the stars yet but I am thinking it might need some celestial

If your following this blog, you’ll be the first to see this finished product! It been nearly a whole month working on this beautiful piece but I can now say I am finished. The finishing touches to the tree were constant but I think I narrowed down my crazy attention to detail. I really think its the water that makes it. Everything else only compliments it. It pleases me to see the thought process come to life. The hibiscus flowers really pop with the acrylic past I got. Notice the Frangipani flowers also have tooth and dimension to them as well as the tree vines.
The final touch ups were done very carefully. The crescent moon needed some more white added in to create more of its shape. Being that the moon was so far away I wanted it to be far off in the distance. Note: I did add in my star idea to my transcending skyline. Even the clouds have some paste added to them to bring them to life. Varnishing had been my last, and favorite part. You really can’t go without a nice varnish. My idea was to create a semi-gloss to the back drop and a gloss finish to the water and flowers. I think my plan worked! It really does have a life of its own now and I’m even more happy to take it to its new home. To find more pictures, visit my instagram at annalisa_paperarts or facebook page at

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