Friday, November 6, 2015


I usually think of plein air painting in terms of capturing a particular effect of light or time of day, and I guess that’s fine, but a new plein air instructional video by Jason Sacran (suh-crahn) entitled “Painting The Effects of Late Light” has opened my thinking to new poetic painting possibilities.  Most of you are familiar with Jason’s paintings, as he has been winning major plein air events across the country for the last few years, so a chance to watch him paint and talk about his approach would be a treat for any of us.  But, something very interesting happens in this video.  Something unplanned.

In the making of the video, Jason set out to demonstrate for us how he captures the charm and opportunities of a subject in late afternoon light.  However, in the process of filming the video, he was confronted with a radical shift in light.  His painting had begun on a late sunny afternoon, with the subject in bright, warm, slanting light.  But, as plein air painters know, the light can sometimes change dramatically on the way to a finish.  With the lay-in completed, and preparing for the finish, the sky became overcast, values and color harmonies shifted, shapes changed!  The extraordinary thing is that instead of panicking, and abandoning the project, Jason decides to walk the tight-rope for us!  He quietly explains how he will try to finish the painting, adapting his approach to integrate and make use of the changes.  The finished painting is a skillfully harmonized statement, wrought from the artist’s will to create a beautiful record of his experience.

Besides being a useful and informative presentation of one artist’s skill and methods, Jason’s video records the unplanned, on-the-spot reaction to a problem every plein air painter faces at some time.  Want to be inspired and encouraged to get out and grow your own painting skill?  Check out Jason’s video HERE.   

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
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Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

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