I’ll have to admit it, I’m a weekend painter. As much as I’d like to be doing this gig full time I just don’t have the guts to let my day job go. It would help if I was trying to sell some of this stuff but I think that’s a full time job and not the sort of thing I enjoy. I just like to paint. This week I’ve been exploring the expat Marc Dallessio’s blog and his wonderful paintings. He has a pretty good 40 minute demo on YouTube that is worth watching, even if you don’t paint. He uses a technique called Sight Size in which you set up with the view at the exact size you intend to paint and raise your easel to eye level. Then when you paint you try to just flick your eyes back and forth and copy exactly what you see at the same size. I used it all weekend and enjoyed it’s advantages of value and proportion control—it does help. This top one is of my most recent kick, McFarlane Nature Park. It’s a 12 x24 and I used the Sight Size on this. I tried to lay in my sky first and key the rest of the color off that—another Dallesio lesson. This led to a darker painting than what I would normally turn out, with me keeping everything below the sky darker. Looking at the photo I took in the field I can see that I might of missed a bit of the light on the house but I took the shot while the sun came out for a very short appearance during an otherwise overcast day.
Number two this weekend is the quick nocturne I did Saturday evening. I love to paint nocturnes they come out so direct and fresh, You just can’t see a lot of details at night and the work becomes centered on values—as as Marc says “plein air painting is all about values”. Still the blue shade of this with yellow/green and orange light is an interesting combination. The pool was my second choice of subject but once I set up I was enticed by the lights across the water and the ones in the water. A few people would have really set this off but I thought it was busy enough for a 9 x12″ and left them out.
Sunday I was out before noon and over to Roswell near Vickery Creek and the neighborhoods I find so intriguing there. I wanted to do a very straight on shot of the old buildings along the square there but I just could not get much of a view with trees full of summer leaves so I wondered down to the creek and set up near the falls —a scene I’ ve painted several times. It was a wonderful day and with my wider 12 x 24″ board I was able to stick the falls all the way to the left and show a long view of the creek before me. It came together rather quickly and while there I met quite a few lovely people enjoying the day and curious to see the painting. I really didn’t mind —gives me a good reason to break from the work, step back and take a fresh look. I was home by 2:30 before the sun pushed the temperature well above 90.