Thursday, October 11, 2018

The USE of studys in a live, on-sight Plein Air Application...

Temperance River Quick Studies

The sketching of notans, and composing or fleshing out a scene in a small sketchbook is not an uncommon practice among plein air painters, (those that set up on location and paint from life).  It has long been my practice, and in my workshop encourage students to carry a small board with sections taped off (to simulate larger possible compositions) and do 10-15 minute oil comps, to push ideas, composition, color palette strategies, and light keys.

I used to prime MFD board to carry along, but since I've been prepping Thunderbolt cardstock (Kraft ph neutral 80# paper), I have found it more convenient both to paint, and then thereafter to store (either in a plastic bin, paintings separated by wax coated paper...or a small art portfolio).  There are just a couple examples...of practical application.

Setup on the Temperance River...along the west shores of Lake Superior, in Cook County...and painting in the Grand Marais Plein Air event...I was looking at the mouth, the light, visitors (often skipping stones once they got out there), and realized that morning, that the light was definitely going to change in a hurry, and change the whole sense of the drama in the small gorge.  I decided that a couple quick 4"x 6" taped off prepped cardstock paintings would be decide if I would like the horizon of the distant water high with less sky, or low with more sky...and get the shadows down?

It proved to be a good plan...after choosing the second quick study, because as I believed it would...the light having moved into the gorge created an entirely different setting.  The subject remained worthy as a reference, but it no longer held true to the compelling drama that I wanted.


One of my favorite elements of this larger work (14"x 18" oil on linen) was the painting of the two figures.  It reads well, but each figure is roughly 5-6 brush strokes...

Following the opening of the AIS event, I had to drive 4 hours home as I was teaching a plein air workshop next morning, and that another 1-1/2 hours west of where I live.  Following the workshop that day, I and my wife drove back up to Door County for the duration of the opening AIS events.

My paint students proved to be fairly new at painting outdoors on location, so I demonstrated a simple palette, first a values driven black and white mix of a  dark, mid, light plus white...and then did the same with color choosing several dominant colors of the scene to set up my mixing palette with a dark, mid, light of each color.  If the work required more color transitions, I would leave the option over to include two halftones to each main value group.

About 4"x 6" each, and no more than ten minutes each


Couple Studies from Fish Creek and Epraim Door County, WIS

While up at the American Impressionist Society national exhibition event, and participating in the member paintout, I was on the hunt where to paint.  I ended up painting a 12"x 16" of a sailboat tied up in Ephraim, but scoped out a spot by the public beach looking across over at the town.  I thought it would be fun to do a small study, but make that distant land mass appear nearer.  Then, did another study of a sailboat tied up at Clark Park, in Fish Creek...but, decided to play with the daylight reference photo and try to pull it off as a dusk, or early nocturne piece.  Both are 6"x 8" oils...on paper...

As always, if you click on images, you will bring up a larger view of the painting.  Enjoy...

Monday, October 1, 2018

Had an opportunity at the Big Easel and Bistro of Wabeno, our arts consortium, to see this Mark 9 (1954-60s) Jaguar, and it had "paint me" in its setting all over it.  These are two small paper studies with oils for that reason...

6"x 8" oil  "Jaguar Mark 9 series #1"

 6"x 8" oil "Jaguar Mark 9 series #2

* always, click on the images to see larger resolution image 

6"x 8" oil "Last Light Big Fork"

Its been awhile since I've posted my small oil studies on paper, yet I've been painting quite a bit.  Time to share some more.  As always, if you click on the images you will see a larger resolution image.

5"x 7" oil "Late Afternoon Trolling"

 6"x 8" oil "Willow Sunset"

6"x 8" oil "Camping With Jer"

6"x 9" oil "Fall On A Peshtigo River Road"

Monday, July 9, 2018

Couple studies of a local lake...both 6"x 8"

Have spent a lot of time on the water this summer. With 1200 lakes in our national forest, it is hard to not give in to such. A lot of fishing, a lot of looking for good paint subjects, a lot just letting the heart celebrate.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Just finished... 6"x 9" oil study of a scene view on Skagway Alaska's White Pass trainride

6"x 9" oil study Scenic View White Pass Trainride, Skagway, AK  AP

Perhaps one of the most life enrichening experiences was taking the White Pass train out of Skagway with my wife.  We were on a cruise thru the Inside Passage, our second cruise, and teaching plein air workshops. 

We had been given a heads up to take the last rear car, because then one could go out the car door and stand on a gated balcony and see as well as photograph the whole experience.  The trip for us was about 37-40 miles before having to return, and I stood for perhaps 80% of that.  Quite breathtaking...

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Peeking Sunlight...oil on cardstock...

A study that took some personal sticktoitiveness and goading on, as we just got hit with another 18" of snow our third week into Spring...and was almost hard not to feel some weariness with the season...hahaa...but, I did finish.  Had to remind myself, it is "just a study..." so no need to labor and render beyond the necessary...

9"x 6" Peeking Sun  AP

After the painting is finished...I tape them to the side of one of my bookshelves.  When one side is done...the first few are dry, get pulled off and put into a bin with wax coated paper sheets to separate one painting from another, and stored.  Eventually I take those out and put them in black art portfolios, which make it convenient to take an armload of paintings in one binder form to share.