Thursday, June 3, 2010


A lady asked me today about painting en plein air.  "Why do you do it?  You ignore what you see anyway."  Well, I train my eye to see shapes, not things, values, colours, and edges.  In this example I am looking to see shapes.  There are a few, but there there are two distinct kinds, natural, and man made.  In a landscape a man made shape attracts the eye over the organic shapes.  Even if the organics dominate in terms of size.  If your CONCEPT is to subordinate the man made shape you have to work at it.  Here we found a bit of shade with a nice breeze in low humidity - a gift this spring/summer - and we painted for an hour.

Breeze Relief, 10x12, Oil on Board

The colour strategy is a split complementary with greens - yellow to blue - and Alizarin.  Paint is applied transparent, translucent, and opaque.  Can you see which is where?  Can you see the approaches used to subordinate and emphasize shapes?  Which actor wins out?  What else could be done?

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