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Saturday, April 1, 2017

SCPAPA at Irvine Park

 I had run out of white paint so I was a little late for the 9 am start with the Southern California Plein Air Painters Association Friday paint out.  I was excited to be painting at Irvine Park again.  I love the mature sycamore trees and the vista leading into the Cleveland National Forest.
 I had never painted the oldest trees in the park.  When I drove in and looked for painters I did not have to look far.  Everyone was by the old entrance to the park.
 After stopping by and saying hi to all the painters, I found my location to paint from.
 All set up and ready to go.  In addition to some flake white paint, I bought 5 brushes to work with.
 A simple start.  The block in is complete.  I was really happy with the moody underpainting.  All of the grays within the painting would set up the colors in the later stages of painting.
 Now through the end of the painting it is all about the simple adjustments to the values and the colors within the composition.  A strong start makes the decision making simpler in the later stages of the painting.  An unsure beginning will lead to an unsure finish.  
 Because the shadows on the ground were changing every minute, I had to decide what pattern I wanted to be in the painting.  I worked to establish their shape and finish them before really working on the rest of the painting.
 Although my primary focus was on the completion of the tree shadows, I did not completely neglect the other parts of the painting.  I added the sky holes in the trees to help define the shapes of the trees.  The idea of defining something by painting what it isn't.
 Here I am working on the shape of the oak tree in addition the detail of the tree shadows.
 As I get the final shapes and colors of the shadows finished, the challenge will be to get all areas of the painting to the same level of development.
 I am working my way around the painting and trying to finish specific parts of the painting.  The sycamore on the right and the foliage was the focus at this moment.  At some point you have to decide when something is finished.  The key is picking that moment when it is in front of you.
 When everything has set been kept on track within the painting, the finish is often a brilliant flourish of activity.  You know what to do and you are able to do it quickly without deliberation. 

 Irvine Park Sycamores 24x32 plein air oil on board.
The value shot.
The detail shot shows the quality of the brush work and the patterns of colors.
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