Saturday, October 19, 2013

Main Street, Mendocino, CA

 In a previous post, I described my recent four day plein air painting experience in Fort Bragg and Mendocino, CA.  What a great time with amazing weather, the incomparable Pacific coast scenery and old artist friends.  

On the second day, we traveled the few miles from our home base in Ft. Bragg to Mendocino to paint.  Having painted the ocean the day before, I was interested in something different in Mendocino.  I've painted there before so I knew what to expect.  I had in mind that I would walk toward the ocean from Main Street and then turn around to paint the store fronts of Mendocino.  When I did that, I realized that the scene was not quite as dramatic as I had remembered.  I did a quick pencil sketch and changed some of the elements....moving the watertower, omitting some buildings and changing the relative size of others.   I also decided to try a 10" x 20" Ampersand Gessobord.  I love the 1:2 ratio for seems to depict the scene the way we naturally see it...but Gessobord was a little bit of a wrinkle.  I've painted on smaller Gessobord panels, but I had no experience with the larger format.

As a result of the different painting surface and the realization that I was 're-imaging' the scene anyway, I did something much different than my normal approach.  I painted quite broadly, trying to catch the essence of the scene...the lights and darks...without attempting to represent even a rough level of detail.  The result is a significant departure from my 'norm'....not a bad thing at all!

Main Street, Mendocino, CA   Oil on panel  10" x 20" 

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art

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