Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Third Day in Ft. Bragg.

I set up on the top of a cliff above the crashing ocean.  It was very early and the faces of the cliffs across the way were still quite dark.  The light from the East (right) was skimming across the top of the bluffs beyond and striking a single white building among the trees.  A bit of it caught jutting surfaces on the steep cliff face directly across from me.  I loved the light and the mist that still remained and I tried to capture this.  By the time I was finished the scene had completely changed, but I tried to stick to the original scene and I think I got it pretty well.  I like this painting.

I begin with the intention of trying for a bold painting.  I wanted contrast and color.  To set the theme, I toned the canvas in reds and oranges in a mid value. 

Unfortunately, I'm having a very difficult time getting a good picture of this painting.  For one thing, I find that the camera sees 'blotches' that the eye blends.  The result is a much more 'quilted' effect in some areas.  Contrast is also an issue.  In the actual painting, the face of both cliffs are a step or two darker which in turn makes the areas of light at the top of the far cliff and in the mist much more dramatic as a result. 

The snap shot at right shows my start, including some 'scribbles' ala Harley Brown.  If you look closely, you'll also see that I've started to sketch in the lights and darks and basic shapes.  You can also see that I've indicated the house that I've already decided will be an important note. Taped to the side of the palette is the thumbnail sketch that helped me settle on the basic scene.  I rarely refer to the thumbnail once I've started painting, but it is valuable for establishing the composition. 

The Mendocino coast
If anyone wonders about the allure of plein air painting, these photos should provide the answer.  WOW!

Vicki waits for the verdict, which was..."Outstanding"

In this picture, Howard decides to do a watercolor which turned out disgustingly well.  I think he's done them before!

1 comment :

  1. Thank-you, you are so kind! Vickie