Waterfront Painting

I have been working sporadically on a largish (for me) painting of scene from Portsmouth that captured my fancy back in May, when I was trying to improve my watercolor technique with Dustan Knight. I took lots of photographs and decided to make the most interesting scene into a 16 by 20 oil painting. That was probably in June. Then as the weather and opportunities for painting outside improved, my Portsmouth waterfront painting waited on my studio easel, collecting dust. Here is what it looked like then:

There had been no boats in the picture because there had been no boats in the photograph on the day I was there. Working boats must have all been out working. My photo also had little drama because the day had been overcast. So I went back to try to catch a better angle, late in the day in August. Here is the photo from that visit:

Still no shadows, but at least I caught a boat. About this time, my painting had progressed to this point:

So last Saturday I put in the boat. I like it better with the boat. Without the boat, the painting is too static. With the boat, there is evidence of life. Here it is again with boat:

Is there enough life? I am wishing for some people, maybe a kid sitting on the pier. The windows of the houses need some more individuation and character.

When artists claim they have spent months or years on a painting, is this what they mean . . . dithering?

Let me know what you think.

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