Preparing Plein Air Travel Kit
This week had been filled with exploring around Tuscany on Google maps for locations to stay before and after the Plein Air workshop I plan to take in May. How exciting is that?
I did manage to do a couple of small paintings at the end of this week and continued on with the fifteen minute sketches every morning.
The mornings have been very beautiful with sailors warners of bad weather to come. One day the sun was shining under the clouds and through and I missed getting a good photo of this amazing sky because it changed so quickly by the time I got my big girl camera it had changed substantially. I've seen similar morning sky images painted by The Group of Seven and will try and capture something like what I saw. I'm working on trying to develop my memory. But getting out earlier to capture these would be ideal. Even just to do a small study.
The way the sun was hitting the far shore was also very unique, usually the sun hits the mountain tops first and as it rises grows more down the mountain. However, on Thursday it glinted under the clouds and seemed to grow from the waters edge upwards but that must have been the clouds movement. Again I was unable to capture this view as it happen so quickly and by the time I got my camera it was already fading.
Both these paintings I've used a limited palette of colours as I am going to travel with a fewer number of hues then is usually on my palette. This is a warm/cool primary palette which means it has each of the primary colours with a warm and cool version. I found it to be a little challenging as I usually have twice as many tube colours on my palette and I'll need more practice again at finding my mixtures as a full palette is much easier to arrive at a colour I'm hoping for. Not to say mixing on my palette is what I want to be doing, ideally I'll be mixing on the canvas wet into wet.
This studio I'm working in is large and full of natural light and although I was working inside on these paintings and from my computer screen for a specific image I am surrounded by the hues of the rain forest.
Origanizing, What To Do First?
I drove into Belcarra to my house sitting gig through a thick fog. It was late afternoon and still light out. After a day of packing and two days of organizing my paint gear I decided that I'd bring the studio stuff over in a couple of days, by then I'll have realized what I was missing in other essentials and would have been making my lists. By next week I'll have everything here and will be able to settle into a steady creative practice, whoopee.
This past week I have been trying to do some more thumbnail sketches of compositions. Having decided that I would be starting to try and do these on location more often again as I haven't been outdoors painting in quite a little while now and I am out of practice doing notans. Deciding on what are good compositions to paint and now I might ask myself did I ever get there with compositions. It is such a large and full subject to take in.
Over the holidays I had been trying to finish reading the book on drawing - 'Sketching from Square One...to Trafalgar Square' by Richard E. Scott. This book has been such an eye opener for me and since August having practiced daily drawing sessions discovered my love of drawing again. I started with 45 minutes each day but these have stretched into several hours and I found myself drawing instead of painting. Today I started a 15 minute drawing practice at the front windows. The fog was lifting and the view was stunning. First thing I asked myself was - What about this scene had most grabbed my attention? Today the patterns of fog and the layering of the landmasses, which I'd say was also atmospheric perspective.
This first practice and first thing in the morning is to start to sketch for 15 minutes before I do anything else, is to develop my sketching hand to get practiced at quick studies. It's a plan, yah.