Monday, June 29, 2009

Plein Air

Spent the day at China Camp Village and painted on the small dock down the hill from the main parking lot. It was great to meet so many other painters from both, the Benicia and North Bay Plein Air groups. We ended the evening with a bbq cookout and critiques.

I really enjoyed painting out into the water. The dock didn't shake, but the winds really picked up around 1pm...and my easel began to shake. When packing up, I really thought I'd drop a couple gouache tubes into the water...luckily I didn't.

Here's a closer look at the painting
(gouache on water board 9" x 12")

As for a personal critique: First, the chain linked fence was a challenge. It was the last part I I may have rushed it. I probably should have started with a lighter color instead of white? Second, the sky was bright & clear....I couldn't figure out how to make it more interesting?! But after I scanned the illustration, I tried adding a low opacity haze near the hills. That seemed to have done the trick.

Take a look below.


Tammy said...

what a charming painting!

i think the fence is fine.
though white is kind of sudden, it still works because of the variation of line.
and nice call on the modification. it does give the sky more dimension and makes the sky feel bigger on the canvas.

i need to get some gouache myself :P

polusladkaia said...

wonderful to "see" you painting! Thank you! Inspiring. and love the ladybug -- a plein air perk!

Andy C. said...

Oo plein air. Nice dock painting. I like it.

Below are a few items that jumped out at me. Feel free to ignore.

The scale of the electric poles - Are they normally that short in height?
There is a sudden transition from the background to foreground where the appearances in some places just look flat. Thus giving a conflicting look of interest of where the viewer would pay attention to in the painting. For me the focal point should be a little lower or higher than the horizon level.

The modified version does a great job pushing, well blurring the background, while keeping the focal point intact. Additionally the added slight gradient provides the needed depth for the sky.

I wouldn't worry about making the painting interesting. There is enough going on inside of it. Instead focus the efforts into another plein air!

Gerald said...

Tammy - Thanks, I didn't think I'd touch gouache again (since Art School). It's really fun.

Poulsladkaia - Thank you, you do great work with the Seattle Plein Air group.

Andy - I like that you don't hold back on your critiques. It's rather helpful to hear and see from another viewer's perspective. Here's a jpeg of what the China Camp Village dock looks like from a distance:

I was actually 15 feet from the very end of the dock and spent a lot of time pushing and pulling foreground vs. background. It's quite different when painting from a photo reference. Everything is laid out for you. As a painter, I definitely have a lot to learn and explore when painting on location. I definitely appreciate you taking the time to write out your suggestions. Thanks!

get zapped said...

spectacular! I love being near the water. I can hear the water lapping....

Crescendo said...

Nice works Gerald !

Christina Dee said...

I really like this painting! the doc really comes out at you.

Anonymous said...

i agree.
it pops the foreground forward a little

looks like a real challenge
but a nice way to spend a day!

Art Fan Ako said...

This is amazing, Gerald! You did it!!! The fence came out great.

Josh Frost said...

DUDE!!! THAT'S SO DOPE!!! That shit is right on! Hell yeah man!

Jackson said...

I really like the composition that you chose. Well done!

yoon see said...

Wow! So amazing! Thank you for showing the before and after version.
You are a perfectionist, making changes to the little details and the whole picyure looks even more alive!
I really love it:)
Feel like relaxing here for holiday!

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed what you were able to achieve, given the conditions of the day (sooooooo WINDY and sunny!) I love all those crazy poles and pilings and details of all sorts in the painting!

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