Here is a preliminary sketch to get my bearings on the composition and tonal relationships. This drawing was made three times smaller then the finished painting. Working in this manner I am able to get an idea of how things are working together. At this stage I will know to improve on the idea or scrap it completely.
The oil sketch or poster study works similarly to the pencil drawing. Because I was able to establish in a general way the composition and tones in the previous stage I am now able to embellish them more in color. Again this is a small painting, the same size as the preliminary drawing. For me this cuts out a lot of guess work in the finished painting. All of my experiments can be done here without fear. These studies are best done from life then taken back to the studio for referencing throughout the entire painting process.
Lastly we have the finished product. Here you can see minor changes in both color and tones from the oil sketch. In the oil sketch I left the upper right hand corner lighter in tone. As the painting progressed on a larger scale my eyes seemed to exit the corner every time I looked at it. To remedy this I decided to apply a sort of vignette to the corners to hold one's eyes in the painting a bit longer. There is much more a level of finish and detail added to the finished painting. Also in the lighter foreground area I added much impasto to emphasize the frothiness of the crashing water. I imagine with a coat of varnish and the gallery lights it will sparkle like a gem furthering the sense of movement.