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Friday, February 28, 2014

Taking the advice of a master plein air painter

plein air painted in 3 greys, white and black and then just a hint of color started over the top
I recently went to a California Art Club Winter Symposium.  This was my first one and I learned so much.  The keynote speaker and demonstrator was plein air painter, Kevin Macpherson.  He demonstrated one of his methods he might use out in the field, and he recommends this to anyone who wants to nail their values down.  He used three shades of grey out of the tube, chromatic black and white when necessary.  Once he had his base painting done, he then mixed his colors, using the greys as a guide to mix the right value of color.  Then he brushed the color on over the painting (this is all wet-into-wet oil paints) as one would ice a cake.  Lay it down, then leave it alone.

Sometimes I am value-challenged.  And out in the field I thought I would try this.  Above is a painting I did at Serene Lake.  I have to admit, I really liked painting a grey scale painting!  It took all the decision making and time to mix colors out of the picture, so to speak.  We had a little time left and I started to lay some color in.  This is where I find wet-into-wet a challenge.  It was time to go, and I happily packed it home and let it dry.  (So much easier to paint over a dry painting).

Here is the next step - laying in the color and moving a snow mound back, and covering up the willow twigs that I no longer liked.
Stage 2
And here it is - done -
oil 8 x 16 "Edge of the Frozen Lake"