Friday, December 7, 2012

COWABONGA!!

FROM DESERT MOUNTAIN LOOKOUT   11x14  oil on linen panel
If you're painting outdoors regularly, things are going to evolve.  Sometimes it's by purposeful experiment and sometimes it's just an accumulation of confidence and things learned along the way.  This painting has both.

First, I'm experimenting with painting larger in my plein air studies.  That, in and of itself, has caused a shift in the way I handle the paint.  It feels natural to put more on and move it around more freely.  Learning to state shapes and values more directly.  It makes me want to try to keep the same approach when I try small studies. again.  Looking for what's essential, and putting it down with broader, more expressive strokes.

Then, surprisingly, I've noticed that I feel more control over edges and color variation as I paint wet-into-wet.  The process reminds me of learning to surf.  You're never quite sure what nuances the wave will present, but you're gaining the techniques to handle what comes up.  That's fun!  Granted, you have to be out on the edge, and you're going to "wipe-out" frequently, but it's way more exhilarating.  COWABONGA!  ... for those who remember.  

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