shape relationships

I'm working on a series of paintings of the Carmel coast for a show in Carmel at the Reissor gallery in May that coincides with the 2010 plein air event. It's  a group show and my first invite to exhibit there. Actually it's kind of a dream come true sort of a thing for me. I'd always wanted to be in a gallery in Carmel and hoped that sooner or later someone would notice me. I'm not really too aggressive when it comes to finding new galleries, but as luck would have it I did a painting last year that one of the local gallery owners bid on at the auction, he had nice things to say about my work and asked if someday I'd like to be in a show in his gallery. It only took 8 years of my painting out there for someone to notice the work. I have a really limited amount of time on this to get these done. I just finished a 20x24 which once I get the camera recharged I'll post. I have two 12x16's that I did out there and will try to get a few more done in the next couple of weeks. But with other projects and travels... it'll be tough. I need one show piece up to 30x40. Since I don't really have that kind of time I'm going 24x30....that's doable in a couple of days. In order to not waste time repainting and recarving I decided to do a well thought out shape and value plan in order to really work out the design of this piece.  Every shape, every value, every negative space has weight. It's really important to work out the balance in a graphic piece like this. Using a warm mix I just started sketching in and wiping out until I had mapped in and carved out enought to make me happy for todays lay in of paint. Tomorrow I hope to repaint the whole thing and then do final touches on thursday. More pics to come.