Monday, May 4, 2009

From a Plein Air Sketch

Here we are in the studio.  The oil on canvas is being developed from the plein air sketch on board.  This is second best compared to being there.  In this case, time ran out on site and the colours changed dramatically with the rising sun.  So, the 6x8 sketch is the reference being used.  Its colours provide the best reference.  In the calm of the studio I decided to take some composition liberties.  The challenge is to decide how close to the sketch to make the painting.  The key is to avoid the copying mode.  So, I ask "what is the subject, what am I trying to say, what is the essence of the place?"  Continue with "warmer, cooler, lighter, darker, duller, brighter?"  What should be added or eliminated to simplify?

Zig Zag, 6x8, Oil on board

Here you see an 11x14 canvas at the block-in stage.  Tomorrow, after returning from painting in the Hockley Hills, I'll paint into the simple value shapes and ready the finished painting for hanging on Wednesday at the RedEye in Toronto.  It will be dry enough for that (most of the time it is dry, but there are painted sweaters that tell another story).

For this painting I am using #6 and #12 hogs bristle flats.  The palette consists of alkyd medium (to speed drying), ultramarine, viridian, cadmium yellow light, cadmium orange magenta, naples yellow, and titanium white.

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