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Sort of Plein Air, But Not Really

January 20, 2012

8x10, Gouache

I don’t think this one really qualifies as a plein air piece, even though part of it was done on location.  I started it yesterday from a photo.  This morning, around the same time as the reference photo was taken, I worked on it while sitting outside, looking at the actual scene.  Sort of a reverse of the usual process of starting outdoors and finishing in the studio, I started it in the studio and finished it outside.

It was an interesting exercise, because I was able to make some changes by actually looking at the actual scene.  My main interest was in just simply painting outdoors.  I didn’t want to hike a half mile to find something outside the RV Park, but I did want to just enjoy the beautiful day and cool morning air.  I expect to do a lot of this sort of thing in the future.  Here’s an example of just taking advantage of the fresh air while painting from an existing sketch.  In other words, it’s painted outdoors, but not on location.

This little 5×7 piece started as a pencil sketch done while sitting inside the RV on a cold day while waiting for work to be done (see Killing Time).  I got this far with the painting this morning, but around 11am, it warmed up, and I was sitting directly in the sun.  So, I’ll probably finish this indoors.  But maybe not right now.

Right now, I’m thinking nap.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2012 12:16 pm

    Really nice work . i bought gouache yesterday as its found normally at hobby lobby in US and nowhere in chennai, india where i am from . I was introduced to gouache from learn to paint .
    your art work is really promising me more interest 🙂

  2. February 5, 2012 5:11 pm

    Good once recently, Ralph! Question for you – I see a bit of overlap between the board and the top easel bar. How do you hold your supports in place without leaving a blank spot behind that support bar?

    • February 6, 2012 8:31 am

      Meg, with a small piece like this one (5×7), I’ll pull the top bar down really tight, and still end up holding it by the edge with my fingers. Then, I’ll work the colors at the top of the painting up into that blank space. On larger pieces, I’ll attach the board to a piece of foamcore using little black spring clips. I move those around and touch up the blank spots a I go. Getting the color right is easier with landscapes.

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