14 x 11 value study/quick draw - oil on linen panel
A friend and I hired a lovely model for our value and color exercise. It amazes me how quickly 20 minutes can fly by when one is trying to put eyeballs and noses in the correct place. I can see I did not do that in this piece but I am allowing myself those errors since this was a 20 minute piece with no room nor time for fixes. The purpose of this quickdraw was to warm up to the model's facial structure in increasingly longer poses. We started with a 5 minute pose, then a 10 minute pose, then 20 minutes then an hour+ with breaks for the model every 20 minutes. The time certainly flew by for us artists, especially under these conditions! Now that I have a value study and a color study, I feel confident I can produce a nice piece from the photos I took during the model session. We'll see :).
I'm finding with plein aire painting (I'm new to this) that there is a pull between slowing down and speeding things up and knowing the right time to do which one. For instance, I have found it important to spend some time getting a "feel" for the place I am going to paint. I don't want to just jump in and start painting. I want to bond. Maybe it's corny but it's the truth. That being said, I also find once I am set up and ready to paint, nature takes over and sometimes pushes me along to paint faster before the sun leaves that spot or before the storm arrives. Both of which were the case in the painting above from a couple days ago.
Of course, it's not always like that but I am finding lots of enjoyment in the challenges being tossed at me with each new adventure!
This is my simple set-up just before starting the painting. You can almost see the gray clouds forming on the left. They didn't stop me though, today I headed back to the beach in 25 mph winds :).
I haven't been "here" because I've been out "there" and I'm trying to catch those few extra rays of sunshine while we still have them. I never used to be too keen on painting outside (plein air) but I think that might be because I didn't have the right setup. Now, I do (thank you Larry).
I started out with carts full of stuff and the setup seemed so cumbersome. Now, I am down to things I can just sling over my shoulder so I'm pretty mobile. Here's what I started with - yes, I know, it looks like my entire studio on wheels. But, because I didn't have the right stuff, I needed a lot of extra stuff. Until I got my Best Brella, I had to have the cart to attach my umbrella to (otherwise it would fly away) and I had to have the smaller cart because I didn't have anyplace to put my palette when I worked with oils. And, I had to have the bigger cart because my little cart couldn't go most places I wanted to go because the wheels are too small.
This is my new setup :).
Attache Aire (for oil or pastel) & bag (holds my pastels, paper/panels)
Winsor Newton Easel / Easel Butler (for pastels)
Accessory bag (turp/oils/brushes)
This is the Attache Aire set up for pastels. Those pointy things are magnetic & there's a tray below the painting so the dust doesn't get all over the pastels below. The paper on this is 11 x 14.
This is the Attache Aire set up for oils with a vertical palette! SO awesome for keeping the palette on the same light plane as the working surface (in the shade). I can't take credit for the idea, it was an idea inspired by David Kassan and shared by my friend, Cary. Larry adapted it to our Attache Board (still in protype) and now to the smaller Attache Aire. I am in love with this puppy!
This is so, cool, too - the palette flips over and screws facedown onto the board for transporting wet paint and fits into a Masterson Wet Palette storage container for longer term storage. Nice.
So what about the horse? Hahaha. Well, I was painting last night with a friend and this horse showed up for a nice stroll along the beach. Okay, he did have a friend with him, too, but it was still a little out of the ordinary and just another great reason why I enjoy going outside to paint.