Sunday, January 3, 2010

Short Outing

-17C and wind chill to -32.  Perfect.  And sunny, They say.
You're not going out in that are you?
Yup.  Get one in early in the New Year.

To my surprise a number of locals and OPAS members turned out for an early in the year paint out on Scotsdale farm.  David and Zan were there, and I had met them at rattlesnake point last fall.  Then there was Chantal and Jeanette from downtown, and Christine from the Mill.  Christy dropped in and left Mike alone baby sitting.

The "keep the core temperature up" play was in.  Everyone seemed giddy, raring to paint.

Since the light was changing fast and I had only a short time, I adopted the concept of putting down just enough so I could finish off in the studio.  To do this I located an image, made a thumbnail for value masses and composition, put up a board and did a quick wash in the dominating colour.  Then into the car for a warming.  Out again and (with a ten minute timer) indicate the colour masses.  Then the clouds began to change the day to a cool key.  Out with another white board, float on a wash, warm up, cycle etc.

Here are the two indicated sketches captured for consideration in the studio.  A simple palette of Ultramarine Blue, Viridian (Just goes with everything), Cadmium Yellow Medium, Alizarin, and Titanium White.  Helps quicken decision making.

From the Dam, 10x12 sketch, Oil on Board

Snow's Creek Pattern, 10x12 sketch, Oil on Board

The approach here is to indicate (as opposed to resolve) the colour masses.  In the studio the flushing out step occurs from this reference and your memory.  Since the memory fades with time it is best to get to these quickly in the studio.  This is a great exercise for the memory.  It also exercises the imagination and makes photo reference painting more vivid.  So the quick indicative sketch exercises all of the big three as proposed by Lorne Bouchard (Quebec).

                            You can be bashed around in the bush.  If your hands freeze, your face burns, 
                            or the mozzies suck your blood, so much the better.
                                                                                                                                         - Lorne Bouchard, 1913-1978

A quick goodbye to all and on to the rest of the day.


  1. These are great firsts of the year George, good on you. D.

  2. Hi Dolores,
    After the planned studio work these turned out OK. The sun key is quite appealing whereas the overcast key with close colours and values was quite a challenge. It is peaceful and melancholy with a bit of nice texture and colour.