Weekend Plein Air—Perfect weather makes it productive

This weekend the weather was perfect for plein air. After quite a few wet days and the previous weekend’s limited available time the last few days were a painters dream. Saturday I drove down to the Chattahoochee and set up on a dock used by scull racers near the Roswell bridge. I got there about 11 and painted until 4:30, getting two finished.

The first looks upstream towards the bridge and I was able to get a nice long view that I enhanced with an ultramarine blue toned background. I used a much thicker initial under painting for this painting —I like the impasto but I usually dilute the darks and wash them in then use heavier lights on top. I’m getting better with my drawing skills so I don’t feel the need to go in over the greens of the trees so much anymore. In this case I just put them in to start and added a few lights and sky holes after. Iused about six different greens that I carefully mixed to get a more varied look. It was a beautiful breezy day on the river, so not much green reflection on the water—mostly a silver blue gray from the sky. I love the sculls so I added one in each of theses 9 x 12’s. I only saw a few go by all day, and at to fast a speed to get a lot of details so I went up to the boat storage house and did a few thumbnails from a few up there to help me with the hardware and design.

The afternoon painting includes a bit of the dock and is into the light that was by that time  heading towards the horizon. I think I took this one a bit too far but I enjoyed the feeling of the light bouncing off the water— In the end it was very close to real thing. The island in the middle of the river was an interesting round anchoring object in an otherwise tunnel of perspective. I added a few rafters to slow the eye on it’s way down the river.

This was a great place to set up, with just a few people stopping in and floating by while I worked.  Those that did were delightful—nothing like a beautiful day on the water to lift your spirits.

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