Monday, October 6, 2014

Plein Air painting

"First Light"  11 x 14 oil on canvas panel
    This year I have been doing some plein air painting, and one day got up at 5 am to capture the sun rising over one of the Great Lakes.  That day I was at lake Huron, from Michigan you see beautiful sunrises on this lake.  If you want great sunset views, Lake Michigan is perfect.

     Thought I would share some tips from this experience.
1.  Get up early enough to have that morning coffee, before heading out :)
2. Get to the place you plan to paint from early enough to set up and have everything ready "before" the sun comes up.
3.  You may want to have a portable light, because you will be setting up when it is still fairly dark.
4.  Have you palette loaded with all the colors you want to use, and possible some premixed combinations that could be used.
5.  Be ready to paint "fast".
6.  Do not get discouraged if the painting does not turn out perfect it will make great reference to work from back at your studio.

      I list all these because I did not do them and really wished I had.  When the sun comes up it is like a slow motion explosion.  The colors in the sky and the water change "very" quickly.  I was still trying to get all my stuff out and set up in dim light when the light started to break.  
    When I started painting there was not enough light to clearly see the colors on my palette, luck for me I have a regular lay out I use so I knew where each color was.  But a small light focused on the canvas and palette would have help.

     These two were made on the beach that day, the one above,  was painted later using the plein air paintings as a reference.
This painting will be available at the Oct Fenton art show:

11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas panel
Happy painting Mary

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