Someone asked about the technique I used outdoors today (Saturday May 9th) on this painting. I tried something a bit different today and I figured it would be nice to post it, as long as I can say on the front end, take everything with a grain of salt. As my friend and mentor, T. Allen Lawson, has said: "Every Painting is a Crapsshoot."
This is cool to me how this painting developed. Usually, I paint two painting a day when I am able to paint outside--and I try to do that at least once per week. I do it in two shifts due to the rapidly changing light. So, in all great leaps forward for an artist, (or me at least) a horrendously fortuitous accident has happened. First know that this painting could still be improved in the studio, I see problems peppered all over, however I have learned to be more wise about this and tackle one problem at a time or else the problems all together become difficult to manage. With that caveat out of the way, here's what happened on Tuesday, (May 5th):
I started as usual with my first painting and got well enough along with it. It was a mostly sunny day and 3/4 of the way through, the sky became dark and overcast. Well, that's what happens. All artists know that this spells the end of the painting without doing a full scrape down. So when I got home, it dawned on me that if I scraped down the painting and fiddled with the structure and design in my studio, maybe I could take this back out. I was frustrated that I tried so large an outdoor painting, (this is 16x20).
So, today, I went out with a painting with the structure, design and composition, and color scheme already planned and in place. The sun was erratic today, but still a lot better than Tuesday. Next, I chose not to stick with a two-hour time limit as I normally do, instead I painted for about four hours on this one painting. Yes, the light had moved, but then I took a leap of faith outdoors, I began painting from memory what I knew would make the painting stronger, and kept borrowing parts of the "current-light-condition" to augment different parts of the whole. This means that the painting is showcasing various light conditions: 10a.m. here, 12:30p.m. there, 2:00pm over there; this is not followed slavishly, but if what the light presents feeds my concept better than another light-moment, then I'll go with it.
I really enjoyed this and believe it is worth pursuing.