Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday Plein Air - Groveport Cemetery

Took my new pastel mini-setup to our painting location today, and it was a good thing I also put in the stuff to paint in oils as it was drizzling rain. I setup my new plein air umbrella and used it for the rain instead of sun. I am impressed with this umbrella. It is tall enough for me and although there was a bit of a breeze, it never moved at all.

We painted in Groveport by the log cabin and cemetery. We only had 7 people show up today and two of those decided it was too cold and drippy for them to stay.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ready to Paint!

I've had a 4-day long weekend and the weather has been fabulous! Today, I puttered around in the garage getting some panels coated with gesso for oil painting. I love spending a day puttering, getting art supplies ready or designing new stuff to make things easier. 

I should have been doing laundry, but while the gesso was drying I finalized my pastel setup for plein air. It's always a pain on Friday evening to decide and collect all the stuff I need for Saturday mornings' paint-outs. Now I have it ready to go!

Below are pictures of everything I should need and it fits into a smaller backpack:
 I still have room for other things, but this should be enough stuff:
As shown below, I have the EasyL ProChade, a small sketchbook for thumbnails, a microfiber cloth, my tin full of soft pastels, my box of hard pastels, a backer board with an attached cover with glassine, four pieces of pastel paper between mat board, and a small plastic container with Invisible Gloves, Spectrafix, alcohol, artist's tape, a pencil, a piece of pipe foam, scissors, and rubber bands and then my tripod and the bag.
Now I need to get a little set of oil painting supplies ready to quickly change out the pastel stuff. Painting out of doors is hard enough, but having your supplies figured out really helps make it easier.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Organizing and Simplifying My Pastel Plein Air Box

I spent a couple hours today trying to simplify my plein air pastel setup. I own a nice Heilman Back Packer size pastel box, but sometimes it is still too heavy and too many pastels.

I own several different plein air pochades and use each for different situations. I wanted to use one of my smallest, the EasyL ProChade for pastels occasionally, so found a way to use it. Because of the interior structure of the ProChade, it is difficult to be able to keep the pastels inside when closed, so I needed portable boxes that would sit nicely when the easel is open. 
I had this tin that would work nicely, so I added some foam and went to work deciding on how to pick which ones from this large pile - would fit in this small tin!  :
I already had a small NuPastel box that I had filled with a variety of hard pastel brands and put the larger soft pastels into the new tin - seems perfect!!
 Here is a view from left to right - my studio tray, the open Heilman, and the new selection in the open EasyL ProChade:

Here they are closed up:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday Plein Air - Coffman Park

Another beautiful Saturday for painting! It was a bit brisk with a northerly breeze. We painted at Coffman Park in Dublin Ohio today. I chose to paint another pine. I enjoy the shapes.

 I continue to experiment with surfaces and today I tried painting on a board I made with linen mounted to Gatorboard, then mixed up a grey Gesso for the ground. Two things I disliked was the surface did not cover well and it was too dark. I like an oil primed surface much better than the acrylic Gesso.

I also experimented with toning my palette the same color so that there was not a big difference in value when mixing and applying the paint to the canvas. Again, I made it too dark. I also noticed that many painters place their palette vertically so that the light hitting both the palette and canvas is the same. This worked well for me.

I'm not happy with my painting, but enjoy learning from my experiments. Here are process shots:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Plein Air - Worthington Green on the Square

We had a lovely morning painting! The sun was shining, the birds were singing and there were lots of happy painters painting! We painted in Worthington on the square. 

I setup near the Griswold Center and painted the pine. There were some nice shadows early on, behind the tree to the left, so I wanted to get those painted in early (hard to see the shadows in this photo). 
It took some time, but finally one of my brushstrokes laid down just right! 
I was painting with my back to the sun, and should have brought my shade umbrella. I had a lot of glare on the canvas while I was painting.

Very happy with the finished painting!
"Pine with Path", 8x10, oil, on canvas mounted on Gatorboard

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Studio Work - Pastel: Sunflowers and Astromelias

I think this is the third time I've attempted to paint from this photograph I took a few years ago. I think it finally worked this time!
Process shots follow. I had a piece of 400 grit UArt sanded pastel paper which had been previously stained with a cyan gouache. I decided to draw the basic shapes using a Sharpie instead of a pencil.

I've been using thinned Acrylic Gesso in black and white to put in the darks and brights.It's been working for me. I kinda liked this graphic design and the colors.
After that dried, I then started with the color in pastels.

 I had planned to change the angle of the table to the left, but in the end, I put it back in the same angle as the photo.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Plein Air Saturday - Hayden Run Falls

We began our 2014 Plein Air painting season today!!! Although our weather has been getting warmer, today was very cold and grey - at 37 degrees. After several days of heavy rain, our painting location was really flowing! Quite the change from a couple weeks ago, when I took the photos for the previous post with the "River Snag" painting!

But there was a good number of die-hard painters who showed up, and most of us stayed to paint. Since it was so damp, I decided to work in oil today. I was using Arches Oil paper today, which I had stacked and made a 'pad' or block like how some watercolor blocks are made, by coating the edges with thick white glue. It fit perfectly in my tiny Judson's Thumb box pochade.

I worked quickly and although my body was warm enough, my painting hand fingers got really cold!! We painted only a couple hours and then we met at a nearby Wendys to warm up and have a quick lunch together.

Spring Falls, 5x7, oil on Arches Oil paper