Sunday, May 31, 2009

Plein Air painting is Hard.

Union Flat II
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

Whew! I decided today to go back to Union Flat Creek to try my hand at the rocks again. Getting there, but they still just look like globs of paint rather than rocks. What am I not doing that I should?

I may have to do some up close and personal rock studies...

I also decided to concentrate on the drawing bit of this painting, and found that helped a lot. I've been reading Richard Schmid's Alla Prima so today, I was trying to look at the subject as a specific problem that I needed to work out. As I was painting, I realized how little attention I have been paying to the exact placement of objects in the view.

Color. All the greens really get me. Subtle changes make all the difference, I suppose...

I need more drawing practice.


12 comments:

Marian Fortunati said...

Ha!! Don't we all... but you??? hardly!!

Lovely study!!! and I like the rocks too!

Rick Nilson said...

This really rocks.Plein air maybe hard, but rocks are harder and they will dull a pair of sissors in a heartbeat but they do a good job of covering paper.

Julie Beck said...

you think plein air is hard? try doing it with ACRYLICS that dry immediately in the breeze. hardest thing EVER!!!

Sara Winters said...

Thanks Marian.
Rick, you crack me up!
Julie- I used to paint in acrylics, but I am a bit of a lazy painter and like to leave my paints out (and often in my brushes). I killed so many brushes... I admire your ability to work so well in the medium.

Kerri Settle said...

I see no problems with the rocks in your painting but I definitely get where you're coming from in your frustration with them. They have so many subtle planes that can be a beast to pick up.

The great thing about greens is that it's not too difficult to get a million variations on them just by adding a little more of something. I also think that strong red under painting you use works wonderfully in keeping your greens lively.

Sara Winters said...

I was reading Edgar Gruppe's Brushwork book and he said something that made me smack my forehead. He said rocks are angular, don't paint them rounded like potatoes.

My creek has a bunch of little stark white potatoes floating around its edges.

Next time.

Rick- I laugh every time I see your comment!

Linda said...

Beautiful and really relaxing to gaze at. Lovelt artworks throughout your blog a real treat. Lindax

Sharlette said...

I think your painting is wonderful.. Now for the greens, have you ever heard of Morgan Samuel Price? She is called the Queen of Green. She has some videos on Art Academy Live. She did an online workshop on greens that I took several years ago. It really helped me alot. They have some snipits that you can download and refer to anytime you need to. She is a wondeful person and does workshops all over. You might want to look into some of those videos on www.artacademylive.com I have even switched to Gamblin Oils because I like the way the paint feels. LOL The colors are very pure also.

Veronica Funk said...

I think your work is lovely...and I agree, the reds make the colours pop (I have an affinity for red underpainting, too). A friend uses a black gesso base whenever she does rocks, to give them a harder edge.

Peter said...

Hi Sara just found you thru Tony Moffitt's art world He listed you in his top ten blogs. Not that I know much about rocks but here's my observation: more shadows. It's hard to get much detail at such a small size but more shadows would give you more edges. Plein aire is hard as rocks but it's art for Pete sake! Rock on

Laurel Daniel said...

This is gorgeous!

Gwen Bell said...

This is really gorgeous! I admire you Plein Air painters so much. No way I could do this, much less with those quick drying Acrylics. Great job!