I’m taking a plein air workshop starting Wednesday with my wonderful artist friend Joyce (see her blog.) I’ll post about artist/teacher Larry Moore later in the week, but today was practice time. Larry was kind enough to lend us some gear since neither one of us has painted outdoors much. To get used to it and figure out what to take, I did some painting today. This photo was taken yesterday during the Winter Park Garden Tour. (It’s always fun to wonder through people’s yards looking at stuff!) Anyway, I loved how the bicycle was silhouetted in the background behind the geraniums.
Cropping it and using Levels in Photoshop for more contrast results in the image below. You can see a table and chair cluttering it up that I plan to leave out.Below, the values are blocked in with purplish paint. One of the other main reasons to practice today was to help decide which paints to use. The workshop is officially for oil painting, but I’m going to take Golden OPEN acrylics if they’re good to work with. They dry much slower than regular acrylics which allows plenty of time for blending on the canvas. Plus you don’t have paint drying into hard little buttons after five minutes on the palette.
Below is a close-up of the background painted in. The idea during this workshop is to stay loose and not try to do finished artwork necessarily. As you can see, I didn’t attempt to create the lattice or plant shadows on the wall and instead made them into more solid shapes to keep it simple. Maybe next time.
The final image is below, or at least that’s what I got accomplished today. I might play with it some more, who knows? It’s not too bad considering how little I’ve painted lately. I love, love, love these paints and have zero complaints about them at this point. I’ll still probably take some oils and watercolors just for the heck of it. We’ll have three solid days of painting so there’ll be plenty of time to experiment. It’s pretty pathetic to paint inside using an outdoor set-up, but one step at a time, right? Besides, how else could I use my computer to display the photo reference? I’m so green at plein air I can’t remember the type of gear this is...might be a pochade box. Anyway, it detaches from the tripod and folds up into a neat little box, and the wet paintings can be carried in grooves on one side. Very nifty. Joyce has another brand, so we’ll see how that one works. This one, the Easy L, has worked fine today, but we’ll see what happens out in the field.
I am SO looking forward to this workshop. It’s supposed to cool down into the 60s during the day and it probably won’t rain this time of year... should be perfect!
Update Monday morning: naturally after looking at the painting again there were a few things I couldn’t leave as is. I added the threshold, tweaked the French doors, fixed the wall/floor boundary, added the plant shadow on the front of the pot, tried to relax the overly stiff plant and toned down the bright yellow green. I’m really finished this time... hopefully.