Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Plein Air Convention (Part 1)

Hello from Monterey!

It's day two of the Plein Air Convention and I'm having a good time seeing demos and meeting great people. I'm also happy to post four new paintings.

I drove from Phoenix on Sunday with a car full of paints and blank linen panels (and a cooler full of Coke). I arrived late afternoon in Monterey, with just enough time left in the day to paint this:

I really like painting the streams of water running down the backside of the rocks. This was on Asilomar beach.

Day Two, Monday, was spent in Point Lobos. A lot of Plein Air painters were enjoying the sun and painting (the surplus of black flies, however, were not enjoyed).

My first painting of the day was at the last parking lot, by the trailhead for China Cove. What a beautiful place. The cove (not pictured) is an incredible green color. 

The second painting of the day was done in Whaler's Cove. There's tons of poison oak here, so you've got to be careful. These rock outcroppings really intrigued me. I'll be painting these again for sure. 

Tuesday the convention ended at 4 (I'm disappointed it is being cut short each day for people to paint. At $1000 for a ticket, I would like more demonstrations than last year... not fewer!) I drove to the Asilomar beaches and knocked this one out. The weather got really cold and a fog started coming in. Every now and then a hole would open up in the sky and the sun would shine down on the water like a spotlight. Very cool.

On these paintings I used my "chromatic palette", which consists of: Titanium White (Utrecht), Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red Light, Crimson Lake (Holbein), Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine, Viridian Hue (Holbein), Brilliant Green (Utrecht), Yellow Green (Utrecht). 

This palette is all about using compliments to neutralize, rather than earth colors or black. I feel like I have the most control of my colors, because I can make color shifts as subtle as I want. This is especially valuable in mixing greys.

The one exception to this palette is the fourth painting, of the overcast/grey seascape. I received a free tube of Cadmium Red Deep from Richeson at the convention, and I also purchased a few Michael Harding oils here (I've been wanting to try them out for a while now, and finally I got some). This painting had the addition of four colors: Cadmium Red Deep in place of Crimson Lake, and Michael Harding Ultramarine, Raw Umber, and Burnt Sienna. I normally avoid earth colors, but I decided to give them a shot on such a grey day. 

The Cadmium Red Deep was used when mixing with Viridian Hue. Cool reds and cool greens mixed together get neutral purples/blues, and you can bend the mixture more to the green or more to the red side. It's really great for painting the Pacific ocean. Cadmium Red Deep is lower in intensity than Crimson Lake, and a little warmer. The mixture with Viridian Hue is a bit more blue and less intense. Crimson+Viridian yields more intense colors, and the middle mixture tends to be very purple. For a painting filled with neutral tones, I went with Cadmium.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for more...

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