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First Plein Air Paintings in a Long Time

March 19, 2009

Well, I finally went back outdoors to paint, after nearly a year and half.  The weather was beautiful today, and I was out of excuses.  I had forgotten how much of a challenge it is, making decisions and painting quickly before the light changes.  Both are gouache.  The first was done on illustration board, at a rural park not far from me.  Not particularly inspiring, but I was painting bare winter trees (not my strong suit), and relearning what the gouache does both on illustration board and outdoors.  Not satisfied with the morning’s work on the first one, I went back out in the afternoon to an old abandoned farm to try again.  The second is on gessoed masonite, and while I still felt like a beginner, I was at least on familiar ground.

There is a definite difference between the way the paint works on the two different surfaces.

I’ll go out again soon.  Need to make sure I’ve got everything done for a show in Tyler, Texas this weekend, so it may not be tomorrow, but I now know I need to get back out as soon as possible.



8×0 on illustration board














9×12 on gessoed masonite

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2009 11:26 am

    Love the second one. The little shack on the side of the road. Nice colors, love the golden touches on the roof.

    • March 25, 2009 12:45 pm

      Thanks Carol! Getting back out was fun, but I had forgotten what a challenge it was. Glad you like it.

  2. March 24, 2009 1:41 am

    Ralph, You have a special way with old, tattered building. They look more like portraits, than landscapes. Those building have a presence that appeals me the same way a good human portrait does. Very nice compositions.

    • March 25, 2009 12:49 pm

      Candace, coming from someone who is doing some awesome portrait work, I really appreciate your comments. Maybe it’s my age, but I do feel a connection with the old buidings. When I’m painting them, I conjure up images of the lives and stories that were associated with them. Thanks!

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