This painting is titled "Night Storm At Sea"

This painting was inspired by a photograph of a 1849 painting titled “Tempestad Nocturna en el Mar” by Iván Konstantínovich Aivazovski. – (last name also spelled Alvazovsky). The English translation of the title is” Night Storm At Sea”. Iván Konstantinovich Aivazovsky was a Russian Romantic painter who is considered one of the greatest masters of marine art.

I came across Alvazosky's “Night Storm At Sea” over a year ago and saved it as a reference photo. Water scenes and night scenes have always been an interest of mine. The impact of dark tones of night, waterfalls, seas, oceans, bays, rivers, and even streams offer so many interesting variants such as color, movement, reflection, and refraction, all great components that provide the opportunity to create an interesting painting.

However, each time I thought about attempting to paint my impression of this scene, I backed away. I didn’t have confidence enough to believe I could do justice to the scene. I’ve done paintings that included crashing waves. I’ve done night scenes. However, I felt uncomfortable with this scene. The ship was intimidating.  I lack knowledge of the ships of this era and the reference photo did not provide much visible reference detail – especially in the area of the sails, masts, and the associated rigging.

Finally, I decided to give it a try. I didn’t want to replicate Alvazosky’s painting. I did want to create my own scene based on his painting. Alvazosky’s painting combined the darkness of night luminated by a bright moon casting rays of golden yellow and violet that colored the clouds and reflected upon the waves of the sea.

My painting isn’t as dark but it does attempt to give the impression of night. The sky is lit similarly to Alvazosky’s version but my version incorporates more whitish, yellowish and pinkish tones that are also softer in both the sky and water. I also feathered the clouds more on the right while keeping the sky a tad brighter on the left. My intent is to give the impression of the moon light across the entire sky as well as drawing the viewer’s attention to the crashing waves in and around the vessel. Since the story of the painting is the ship and the stormy sea, I kept ship details vague. I wanted the focus to be on the ship battling the violence of a storm at sea.

I don’t pretend to come close to a master such as Alvazosky. I only hope that I was able to create a pleasing scene that is based on his original and also conveys the impression of what it must have been like to be caught in a storm at sea aboard a ship of that era.

Below is a picture of Alvazosky’s painting for comparison.

 Take care everyone.

Exhibit Information

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