Monday, September 1, 2014

September Sojourn: Day 1

September Sojourn: 30 Days of Painting Plein Air

Here we are! Day 1!! It is beautiful painting weather...a little hot for September but there was a lovely breeze in the shade. I wanted to start out with something difficult.  I know that seems crazy but sometimes it's easier to tackle the difficult paintings when you are fresh and ready to go.

I love painting streetscapes and cityscapes.  The pattern and shapes really appeal to me.  Painting them from life is a little more difficult than in the studio, though.  Plein air paintings tend to be much looser, at least for me.  Trying to get a scene down that has a lot of lines and angles while you are fighting off mosquitoes can be a challenge. :)  Not to mention that I am working on a very small scale... there's a big difference between a 30" x 40" and  a 6" x 8" canvas. I am constantly editing as I go.  Trying to include only what is important and not get carried away in the details.

I love this view of the skyline of Charlotte.  Its a great vantage point and I can stand under a big old oak tree while I paint.  In this painting I wanted to capture the repeating pattern of sunlight on the buildings.  It was an extremely bright, gorgeous morning and the buildings were lit up so perfectly.

Here is my easel, set up under the oak tree.  I am about 80% done here.  As I stepped back to take this picture, I decided I needed to eliminate some of the clouds as they were fighting for attention with the buildings.  I also went back in and simplified shapes and worked to make my colors a little more cohesive.  Here is the finished painting:

"early september morning"
plein air study
6" x 8" oil on panel


SamDoum said...

Oh, so very nice! Can't wait to see the rest of your work during the challenge! Looking forward to it!

Sharon L. Graves said...

Mission accomplished. Beautiful difficult painting. Always love seeing your work on the challenges. Love hearing you on the AHA show also. Happy painting.

Karen Johnston Daily Paintings said...

Love your Cityscapes!! Oh boy, what a challenge to paint plein air and small at that! I think YOU have set the bar high. Omg I couldn't do that.