Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Plein Air Paiinting

This summer I decided to get up the courage and actually paint the scenery around me. I started with pastels which are very portable, sat overlooking the river and began to paint what I saw. Well, the first thing that I discovered was that what I was painting wasn't what I was seeing! Then I began to really look. How dark is the bank compared to the river?  What is the value of the river compared to the sky? What happens to colors in light and shadow? What happens to the colors on the distant trees? What are the shapes of the values? After practicing with pastels, I decided to try acrylics. There's a particular place where the river goes behind an island and I thought I'd go paint that. I had an idea of where I wanted to sit and even how my painting was going to look—all before I even arrived! Well, I discovered that I couldn't see the view that I was wanting to paint, so I needed to paint a different view. As I was sitting by the river thinking that I was going to paint the river, I kept looking at this grouping of trees and how the sunlight seemed to be lighting the trees behind more than the one in front. In the studio I would have lit all the trees the same way. Well, since I was so attracted to the trees, that's what I painted! The result is "Sunlight on Trees" below.

I learned that I need to be open to what's around me and try to paint what I see and not what I think I'm seeing!

"Sunlight on Trees" • 12" x 12" • Original Acrylic on 3/4" wrap around canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang

If interested in purchasing this piece click  HERE.

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