Sunday, May 30, 2010
100 plein air paintings in 100 days - #29/#30
#29 - "Catching the Evening Sun"
Original Oil 6x8"
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These two paintings were painted in exactly the same location a few days apart. I was walking along the shore looking for a subject when I noticed the sun catching the tree and grasses on this outcrop. I knew the light would go fast so I focused on getting that element captured as quickly as possible and then worked out the remaining areas.
On another note, I've been asked about the value of painting with an umbrella. First and foremost, it is extremely difficult to paint with glare on your canvas, and difficult to judge your colors accurately unless your palette and canvas are in consistent light. An umbrella allows me to choose any composition, even one that will direct full sun onto my palette and canvas because I can shield it. If you paint in full outdoor light you will mix everything as it looks under that bright source. Indoor light (where paintings are viewed) can never compare to this, so the paintings look much darker when brought indoors. A white umbrella is great when you are looking in to very bright light as it minimizes the extremes of contrast looking from your scene to your work area, but in most situations I find a black underside is best.
#30 - "Evening on the Bow"
Original Oil 6x8"
I just discovered a new artist - Kathryn Townsend. In real time, about 2 weeks ago, in the chronological time of this project, the day before this piece was painted. She paints field sketches in wonderful, thick, interesting paint, really using the texture of the paint to her advantage. I was enamored, and set out with the intention to take a crack at this approach. This first effort was SO FUN! Just about the most fun I have ever had painting, it was pure play, putting lots of paint on and pushing it around. Instead of painting literally, I was trying to just letting brushstrokes suggest things. I kind of slipped into my way of painting in the background, it will require some refining, but I'm sure this approach will show up here and there in future pieces.
PS: Just finished teaching a 2 day workshop in Vancouver. If any of my students are reading this post, thanks so much for a great weekend. You guys were awesome!