I enjoyed a fun day at a local park in Indiatlantic near Melbourne the other day. I took both my oil and watercolor paints, but I ended up using the oils. It was fun to sketch directly on the canvas board and build the painting right on the scene. With watercolor I normally do much more planning, sketching and setting everything up before I even touch my paints. At least that is how I generally work with watercolor. It can be worked more loosely, but I my habit is to be more precise!
We were on the river side of the barrier island. There were lots of interesting scenes that caught my eye, including the bridge, lots of trees, boats and the lush green of a lovely Florida day. I finally settled on the gazebo with the tall palms stretching out behind it.
I had a yellow ochre color painted on the board before I arrived at the park. We started about 10 AM. I first walked around a bit with my friend Barbara, who is my plein aire painting buddy. We shot some photos, looked at possible compositions through our camera lenses and through cupped hands. It helps to “crop” the scene a bit to aid in viewing how the image might be composed on your canvas or paper.
Jim and Maryann, new friends I met through Barbara, were there as well. They sketched, Barbara worked in pastels and I worked in oils. The weather was beautiful, in the 70’s, sunny with just a faint breeze. I love painting days like this. It is such a joy to be in the fresh air and to push the paint around as I study the shapes, light and shadows before me.
We stayed for several hours then packed up for lunch time. I had some errands to run, but when I finally made it home I had to dig out the paint box and fiddle with the piece some more.
I was glad I remember to take a few shots of the scene. I just could not have remember the nuances and details of the line, values and colors without the photos. I did change the sky a bit when I came home and I edited things as they suited my taste through the progression of the piece.
This is the photo I worked from when I came home.
Here is the finished painting for what it is worth…
All in all it was a wonderful day.
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