Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Plein Air Painting

For the first time in many years, I joined some friends to plein air paint this summer. We scheduled the sessions for Monday mornings and took turns choosing the sites. It was a great experience. I enjoyed the camaraderie of my fellow artists and learned a lot from painting with them. 

We decided to paint the lupines that were abundant in our area this spring. One of the biggest challenges for me in plein air painting is dealing with the natural light. Unlike the steady bright light I shine on still life subjects in my studio, natural light is always changing and often overcast. That morning the sky was gray with very few cast shadows. Instead of painting, I decided to take some reference photos and do black and white value studies on location. I went back to the studio and using the photo and sketch above, created "Morning Lupines".

"Morning Lupines", 20"x 12", oil on board, SOLD

The following two paintings were done almost entirely on location. The garden wagon was done during our last session in artist Diana Randolph's garden. Notice how these "landscape" paintings are looking more like still life paintings. I'm not sure I'll ever be a vista painter. After we finished painting in Diana's garden, she treated us to a delicious lunch. She is a wonderful cook as well as a great artist.

"Milk House", 8"x 6", oil on canvas, SOLD

"Garden Wagon", 8"x 6", oil on canvas, SOLD

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