Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Plein Air

Plein Air or open air painting has its own special set of challenges and rewards. On the plus side, it quickens the heartbeat and warms the blood. On the down side, those effects may be simple anxiety resulting from the rapid drying of the acrylic paint. I don't know. The amazing thing is the immediate confrontation of subject and painter as the subject confronts the painter's preconceptions about form, light, perspective, color, and composition.

This little landscape (11"x14") was fun to paint, starting with an underglaze approximating red oxide to unify the ground and eliminate that white canvas. The red oxide was a color suggested by a piece David Lobenberg had done. It set the tone for an energetic, kinetic feel during the painting process, and in the places where the local color didn't quite obliterate the red it helped the soft colors "pop" a bit more.

I like not painting on white because it helps to set the comparative values (a deeper tone used for darker values) and the white acts as kind of a "writer's block", if you will.

I have many more which I'll finish in the studio at home and post when they're done, but this was really fun.

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