Saturday, May 12, 2012

Plein Air in the Sun

I do have a good umbrella.  But today I set up in the shade and on concrete.  Then it turned into this.

Brilliant Sun

At least everything was in the sun.  Painting, palette, me, subject.  Now I never wear sunglasses (and you should not when you paint).  I guess that tells you that my eyes are capable of all but shutting down facing into the sun and that glare.  They go to beady little pin holes.  Evil.  The problem with that is that I get tricked into seeing values lighter than they really are and my painting turns out dark when I review it in the studio under north light.  While I know this, and I compensate for it, today it was not close to enough.  And then the paint darkens as it dries.  Any photo reference is also poor in the brilliant sun.  Here it is in the studio.

Court Room and Patio

Here we are after adjusting the value and the chroma.  Oh, I am sure you notice the activated planes in the image.  This is part of the picture making process of composition.  I have been working some of these concepts for a while now.

Court Room and Patio, 16x20, Oil on Canvas

This is better.  The light and shade planes are clear now.  Remember, in a light and shade painting, every stroke is either in the light or in the shade.  The bed bug line offers some interesting opportunities in this type of painting.

In plein air or painting from life it is important to get one shape the right value.  Then key off of that shape for the others comparing one to another.  Today I was dark at the beginning as I came into full sun.

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