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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Plein air oil painting of an old barn

plein air oil on panel 9 x 12

Yesterday I painted with my friends at the old Twaddle Historic Ranch near Washoe Valley, Nevada.  I was painting in oil and really worked hard on the barn since I still feel I am "building-challenged"!  I took the time in my pencil sketch to work out the perspective.  I have a friend who used to be an architect and she can whip out oil paintings of buildings with no effort.  She told me that in painting, you really don't want it perfect like an architect's rendering, but you want it to read correctly.

I tried two new additional paints in this painting - Gamblin's Chromatic Black and Portland Grey Medium.  Kevin Macpherson recommends them in his book and so I thought I'd give it a try.  I used the black in the shadows inside the barn and I also mixed Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Blue with the black to give some varieties to the black inside there.  It worked out good.

I also used an umbrella this time.  I attached it to a separate tripod so that I could pick up the whole thing and move it as the sun moved.  Very nice and out of my way!

Once I got home and viewed the painting, I realized it needed strengthening of the darks and lights in certain areas (not the barn).  I read in Plein Air Magazine that a very successful plein air painter from Colorado says she touches up some of her plein air paintings this way and yet she still calls them plein air.  That made me feel good - a two hour painting is hard to get spot on correct.  And viewing it outside is different than viewing it inside where it will hang!

This was a wonderful location and the snow on the mountains is a nice accent.

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