2 hour, 10x5(ish) oil sketch done today at St. Stephens Church north of Victoria. I was out with the Al Frescoes Plein Air group. It all felt good today. I can't find a suitable paint mixture for the straw grass colour. It starts to look too milky and un-natural when I add white for highlights. Something else to figure out.
This is another colour chart I've done; this one is for the Zorn palette. Black, Cad Red Middle and Yellow Ochre. An excellent reference. I'm pretty fast at mixing paint from doing all the charts.
I recently completed some colour charts. I have the book Alla Prima by Richard Schmid. He suggests doing them to learn exactly what effect colours have on each other including adding white. It was very revealing. I lean towards the earth tones. The colours I used are Cad Yellow Light, Cad Yellow Middle, Yellow Ocher, Cad Red Medium, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt blue, Ultramarine Blue, Raw umber, Raw Sienna, Venitian Red and Black. The first chart is all those colours with levels of white added. Each square is about 3/4 of an inch.
The Alla Prima book is the best "how to" painting book I've encountered. A must read. Practical knowledge in an informal presentation. Not to mention beautiful work.
The process took about a 3-4 days; two to three hours each day. I painted on Arches Oil paper. The paper presented an easy surface to manipulate. I plan on spray sealing the each page and then put them in a book/binder/holder to use in the field or in the studio.
I'm working on a portrait in graphite currently. I had the eye too small so reworking that. Happy so far. Will post the end product when I'm done.
Out this morning with Faye to a new location in Metchosin (west of Victoria). Beautiful morning - folks riding by on horses, hikers stopping for a chat. I plopped myself down by the road. It was a quick paint. There was a lot of information in the scene; far more than I included. I wanted to capture the light and the distance. I'm struggling with finding the correct brushes for a thin line. I took some photos for a possible finished painting. We'll see. Looking forward to getting out there again.
This 8x10 oil sketch was done Friday Sept 21 with the Plain Air Group Al Frescoes of Victoria. At one point I looked up and the light (and dark) on the tree was stunning. So rich, almost surreal. I painted furiously watching it slowly change. I am going back to paint near here again tomorrow just so I can take some reference photos for a larger image.
My wife (artist Faye Hoffman) and I painted in Jasper AB. for a week this past summer. I did a total of 15 paintings ranging in size from 5x7 to 9x12. I'm not happy with most of them. However, the practice time on the board sure has paid off. I'm mixing paint quicker and generally more comfortable with the overall process - setting up, finding a subject, creating composition - the anxiousness is fading to a comfortable excitement. Painting from life is the truest challenge.
A blog about active art projects and En Plein Air adventures among other art related musings may be mixed in.