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Thursday, October 8, 2015

 It felt like an orange day.  I made three different sizes.  I made a 2'X2', a 2'X3', and a 2'X4'.
 There couldn't have been a better day or a better place to paint.
 I picked the largest board so that I could get everything in the painting at the size I wanted.
 I worked to get all the pieces of the painting to fit together.  I made adjustments to make sure they were the right proportion to each other.  I lowered the hills in the background to be able to fit the palm trees into the painting. 
 I started working the detail in the painting.  The light and shadow patterns were going to change and I had to decide at what point I wanted to capture them.  I had to keep in mind that I would add to them at the end of the painting.  I did not try to finish them at this time so that when I put the final touches on the painting the bluff would not be overworked.
I was reading a post from another plein air artist about how she tries to keep her technique a secret from the people who watch her work.  It seemed like a really selfish and shallow thing. It made me think about the information I share.  I wish I could put down my thoughts throughout the painting process so that I could share my decision making more thoroughly.
 When I am painting, I work to keep all the parts of the painting at the same stage of development.  When one part gets ahead of the others, I will switch to get the other areas caught up.  I think that keeps the feel of the painting consistent.  Because the light is always changing and my paintings tend to run longer than other painters, this is a way that I can keep my painting true to the lighting conditions in the moment.

 There is a moment in every painting when I have to decide the point when I am going to lock in the time and conditions that I am painting.  From that time on, I work more from memory.
 At the very last moment a passer by asked if I was going to put in the flag I did.  I added the monument next to it too.
The value shot.  It looks like I got the values right.
The detail shot.  The finished painting.  2'X4'

Monday, September 21, 2015

Morning and Afternoon

I packed up and headed down to Hiesler Park to paint. I intended to try and get two paintings done.  
I picked a location where I could paint two different paintings without having to move.
I picked the view south to paint first because the view to the north would be better at sunset.
I worked to finish the rocks first because of the lighting.  
I had started around 11 am and was finishing up around 2:30.  I had several people inquire about purchasing the painting throughout the day.  A woman asked the price and then had to run some errands and came back to buy it but I had already sold it to a couple
The woman called "dibs" on the next painting I was going to do.  The pressure was on.  I had really liked the first painting and felt like I had to out do that painting.

As soon as I handed off the first painting, put some money in the meter, turned my easel, and washed my hands, I dug into the second of the day.
 By the time I had finished the sun had swung around to backlight my subject.  I ended up starting into the sun the entire time I was painting.  I am glad that I wear polarized sunglasses while painting.  It really cuts down on the wear and tear.  
The finished painting 36"X 24".

The value shot.
The detail shot.
Painting this view really helped me beat the clock.  I have painted this more than I have painted anything else.
I was already warmed up, I was using the same color board as the first painting, and I knew what I had to do.
My customer checked in on me and asked how long it would be until I was finished.  I told her twenty minutes.  When she came back twenty minutes later I wasn't quite ready.  
While I was painting and my customer was waiting, I could feel the pressure building to finish.
I really liked the way the setting sun came through in my painting.  I put the finishing touches on it, collected my fee, and headed to the car.  It was really nice not having to carry two paintings back to the car.  Carrying the paintings is always the worst part of the day.  This was the first time I had sold two paintings in one day.  I am not going to lie it was awesome.

The finished painting.  24"X36" pastel on sanded plywood with a acrylic and pumice gel underpainting.
The value shot.
The detail shot.