Monday, March 11, 2013


Diane Mannion, 39 HERMITAGE, 8x10"plein air, oil/paper

The wind kicked up so I had to finish this at home, but got a pretty good start on location.  After all, these plein air paintings are meant to be studies, an impression of a place, a quick sketch capturing color notes and atmosphere.  Sometimes, I'll leave them 100% plein air like the previous post.  This one was about 75% finished.  Below are photos of the adventure:
My Monday Morning Painters group started about 9am, beach side of the Hermitage on Manasota Key.   This is a good example of why photos don't capture what our eyes can see, colors are lost, darks are too dark, and the forms are flattened.  
 A quick scribble sketch with black pen in my sketchbook to figure out design and composition.  Shortened the palm trees (artists are allowed to rearrange things to make a better design!), and even removed a few windows on the cottage.  This is a painting, not an architectural rendering or historic document.  If I were painting a portrait of the cottage... I would be more precise with details.  But my intention here was to simply capture the light and mood of a sunny morning on the beach.  Tra-la-la!
Painted on the new Arches Oil Paper which I had mounted on a masonite panel.  You can see a faint image of a class demo that I rubbed off and painted over.  Found this oil paper much easier to paint on if I wiped it with linseed oil first... just a thin layer, helped the brush glide smoothly.  Used transparent red oxide even where the greens will be.  The red-brown color looks beautiful peeking through the greens painted in later.  This stage also helped me visualize where the darks would be and the pattern they made in the composition.
This is how it looked right before the wind blew sand in our eyes, my umbrella blew off, and Sue's painting dropped face down in the sand.  Told her not to worry, let it dry and the sand will brush right off, what's left will add authentic texture. 

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