Monday, June 7, 2010

Naylor's Run Park, alla prima painting

Naylor's Run Park, Lansdowne, PA
At left, is the last painting I did during my weekend en plein air oil painting workshop.

Unlike my previous two paintings, I decided to work like I normally do by starting with a loose value sketch. Since I was experimenting with the limited palette that Kevin Macpherson uses (i.e., ultramarine blue, permanent alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow light and white), I didn't know what to expect. I mixed the ultramarine and alizarin together to form a dark neutral value that I massed in the background.  I used a towel to pull out lights and scumbled in more paint where middle values and shadows were needed.

As I tell my high school students, when you get a chance of seeing your work as a monochromatic composition, then your transition to color should be easier because you worked out key elements of the composition. Well, things progressed faster than my other two paintings.

When my instructor, Fred Kaplan, came around he recommended some changes which I was about finished with when he popped up again. He asked to work on my piece a moment. After he introduced some more middle values to the foliage in the back, we talked a few more minutes and then I readjusted areas where I didn't agree with him (nobody's perfect, right?).

My number one complaint? I wish I had taken photos with my cellphone so I could post more process-related pics; see things step-by-step. But, I didn't (duh, Phillips, right?) It would have been interesting to hear comments on what I started with versus what I ended with.

Therefore, I'm going to hold off with my additional commentary right now. I'd like to get some feedback on what you see.

What materials do you use?

I was originally trained with traditional oils. I moved on to alkyd oils because I liked the fact that they dried more quickly but still pro...