Saturday, September 06, 2008

plein air friday

It was a beautiful day at the Physick Estate yesterday: warm but breezy and we managed to stay in the shade most of the time. Our teacher, Marie Natale, suggested we take just a piece of the building--very sensible; it saved us lots of frustration!
My first go, trying out Marie's method of painting the sections freely and in one continuous wash; that is, when I painted the roof, I moved right into painting the side of the building, not worrying if one area bled into another.
Marie is also an advocate of using triads--a red, a blue, and a yellow--as the basic palette of a painting. It's a very useful method: you never have to stop and worry which color to use and you inadvertently achieve harmony and nice neutrals.
Triads are not rigid though: the "red" could be burnt sienna, the "yellow" ochre ... and other colors can be used; teh triad is the basic though.
I abandoned my first painting after the first wash, for which I used naphthol red, which I thought was a substitute for cadmium red, but it's much pinker, cooler.

I borrowed some cadmium and started the version below; then went back and worked more on my first try.
Here's Marie demonstrating her splatter technique! Note how nearly vertical her painting is as she works on it. I usually paint on an angle myself, but yesterday held my painting on my lap--not ideal.

Below: These are by my fellow painters--Trish, Dick, and Leslie (Cathy's is out of the frame!)--at critique.

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Gillian said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful class, Laura. I felt I learnt a lot reading and viewing. Encourages me to try a class again. Your paintings are beautiful too! I like the idea of choosing a section of the house to paint - not the entire building.

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Great demo you've shown us here. Love your description's and your finished work. It looks like a great class to take. I'm envious.

A Brush with Color said...

It looks like a gorgeous place to be learning, too--that house is wonderful. I also agree that tackling just a section of that house is smart--I like the cropped area you selected for yours. Great photos!

Kari Gibson said...

I see what you mean about that roof! I would love to get my teeth into those fabulous angles. Love the resulting paintings - by all of you.

Cathy Gatland said...

Buildings frighten me to bits, but this makes it look do-able, possibly...? I really like allowing the colours and sections to bleed into each other, and then going back to make the almost abstract shadow shapes - and painting just a piece sounds good, I never, ever, fit the whole thing in anyway!

jeanne said... is so awesome to catch a glimpse of your beautiful watercolors again. I feel like I am emerging from a cave. I have spent the last year caring for Mom and Dad and lost them both in July. I have been 'hermiting' ever since, but you have planted a seed of inspiration. I will try to join you soon......
jeanne shelley :)

Vivienne said...

This is a very scary building. You did a wonderful job. Thanks for sharing the technique and inspiration. How lovely to be away, just painting. Hard work too.

laura said...

Thanks everyone. It is a scary building--I've tried to paint it before, and it's a challenge. The drawing on my paintings from Friday isn't perfect--even though I worked on it!--but that's okay; it was a nice day of painting.

Jeanne! I'm so sorry about your mom and dad. They were an adorable couple; how hard for you to lose them both in the space of a month. I hope that you will be joining Marge at the Chalfonte this month--I'll be there and it would be wonderful to see you!

Sharon said...

Good job on a complicated subject, Laura. My watercolor teacher also uses that technique. She made it look quite easy when she did her demo, but I need a lot more practice!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

These are nice. I love the building.


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