Sunday, January 3, 2016

"over and under" - Day 3

I found this great little spot to paint yesterday.  It's a walking path not too far from my house.  A sort of green oasis in the middle of the city.  Charlotte is good about that, or at least getting better at having parks and greenways in the middle of all the concrete and development.  And these spaces are well used.  Walkers, joggers, bikers ... all age groups.  So I had to set up in a little grassy area that was just wide enough for my tripod and me to stand.  Sometimes the best painting spots aren't the easiest to paint in.

I loved all of the intersecting angles of the bridge, the wall and the walkway underneath.  So my composition was easy enough to come up with.  But first I wanted to paint the bridge.  I love all of the texture and color variations going on in the concrete.  And I also wanted to get a feel for the water.  So I spent some time trying to get the colors right. You will notice that I left out the walkway in this study.  I wanted to just concentrate on the bridge and the reflections.

Then I pulled out my sketchbook to figure out the angles for the next painting.  That is another one of my resolutions for this year .... to use my sketchbook more.  I read Tim Horn's post on the OPA blog last month and was inspired to do a better job of sketching before painting.  I usually just sketch on my panel with some very thinned out paint first.  Most of the time it works out ok but even if I like the painting when I'm done, I always think I could have done a better job with the composition.  I am always so excited to get outdoors and capture the light before it changes that I just dive right in.  It's silly really, it only took me about 3 minutes to do this little sketch.

Here is the finished painting. There wasn't much color in this scene so I really concentrated on making the grays interesting.  And I'm so happy I did the sketch because my initial idea wouldn't have worked as well.  I'm learning. :)

"over and under"
5" x 7" oil on panel


I will be teaching a plein air workshop in Edisto Island, SC in March.  If one of your New Year's resolutions is to learn to paint plein air or just paint better, come join me!  We will paint, learn, laugh and have fun.  Click Here for more information! Edisto Island Plein Air Workshop

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