We finally managed to put together a day for us to paint together en plein air last week. She was a bit apprehensive at the thought of giving up "pushin' a pencil" for a day... but truly wanted to add colour to her expression. I decided to take her to the Winery site... because I knew that it would be quiet with no distractions - or an audience to further increase her anxiety. I knew also, that we would require something structural to offset the "dreaded summer greens" that keep keep even the most seasoned of outdoor painters at home during the summer months. I revisited a scene which I painted two years ago late in September... after the frost had done its work.
Here is a photo reference for the subject of the day. There is clearly a definite centre of interest... the barn supported by a solid foreground ... middle ground and background structure - all the necessary elements to create a strong and successful landscape
To overcome Janet's reasonable "fear of flying solo"... for her first plein air experience, I suggested that we set up "side-by-each"... and simply play follow the leader. In that way, she could more quickly come to understand the approach to painting outdoors... without needless discouragement caused by inexperience and her thin tool box of painting skills. From the very start, she demonstrated quickly that her tool box had more painting tools than either of us had suspected.
Our mapping start capitalized on her already proficient compositional eye and draughtsmanship, allowing her to achieve a truly better beginning than my own. I was envious of her simple and very direct preliminary sketch or map .With that success under our belts and her confidence on the rise... we launched into a rapid lay in, using colour only in stainy washes to explore shapes and colour. That moved along with the same rapidity and success as the earlier mapping start. In less than a half hour, we were exactly where I like to be whenever I paint en plein air. We took a quick break and stepped back a dozen paces to discuss our results... and to plot a course deeper into more clearly defining values and hue.
Quick and stainy. Too quick perhaps.... and too much in the middle of the panel for my liking
You have good reason to smile Janet! "Simply".... Perfect!... Bravo!
Here is my lay in dash. Note the focus and attention to where the central subject... the barn is. Place the strongest light where you need it (on the facing side of the barn) in your final version... before it's gone. Most of the rest of the painting is about middle values and can be modified or changed at any point later on
My lay in advancing... but temporary decision-making is still the game!
Janet.... dueling with the sun. Time to move the easels... by the look of "My Fair Lady's" new lobster look!
Lay in complete. Now for the fun part!
Janice follows suit.
"Just Before Harvest" - plein air oil on panel 10x12 inches
Janet's remarkably attractive first plein air painting... note that wonderful bar of sunlight in the foreground and the really believable lighting on the barn face! She's hooked... I think. Only ingredient that needs to be added to her tool kit for the next plein air adventure?... Number 60 sun block! HA HA!!! A great day "out there"...with a great gal!
Judging from the grapes on Janet's foreground vines... it should be a bountiful harvest at Eagle Point Winery! The two clusters that we sampled at the end of our own harvesting sure tasted some good! Great work Janet!
Thanks to the Friendly and supportive folks at Eagle Point Winery! Looking forward to our upcoming joint harvest adventure at the Winery!
Stay tuned all...
Good Painting!!... to All!