Earlier this week my friend Barbara and I packed up our painting gear and went to a lovely location in hopes of getting some plein air work done. We both thought this was a perfect location with views in every direction.
Looking east you see a couple of apple trees that still had plenty of apples on the tree … and on the ground. Yes, they made a great snack.
To the north were some huge fir trees.
East were some mature aspen trees as well as some young less developed trees.
And then to the south were the majestic Olympics Mountains and some grazing milk cows.
|Dungeness Valley Cows, 8" x 10" Oil on Canvas ~ ©Nancy Van Blaricom|
I haven't done many plein air paintings but as I started to set up I realized I had forgotten a few things. I forgot my phone, that meant no in progress photos. I also forgot to bring a bottle of water, that alone makes a person thirsty, lol. And lastly I forgot my tripod mount … what attaches my easel to my tripod.
All was not lost. Fortunately I had a small blanket that I carry in my car to set anything on that might soil the carpet in the car. I spread it out on the ground between the apple trees and had a great view of the cows and mountains. It was a rather perfect place to be and sitting on the blanket instead of standing was just fine.
As I mixed my paint I tried to remind myself of all the steps I needed to take ... things I really wanted to remember that would help this be a successful painting day. I took my time.
- Do a few thumbnail sketches to make sure I would be happy with my design.
- Using a neutral paint color to sketch my design on the canvas.
- Block in my darks ... shadows. Once that is working add some light and color.
- Try to get my values right.
Anyway, you get the idea .. I didn't hurry when working on my canvas.
After two hours my I felt very happy with what I had accomplish.
I think I am getting the hang of this stuff.
Once home I gave the cows a little more detail since they were quite far away while I was painting.
Wahoo … I'm calling this one a success ! What do you think?