Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Plein Air Workshop

Haldemann Creek

Yesterday and today, my friend Chet and I took a workshop with Peter Spatero here in Naples.  Here's yesterday's work.  We were on a little creek with some falling down tin-roofed shacks that were so tempting!  So this was my first plein air painting in almost five months. 

Several of the students in the workshop were interested in the three-steps-forward approach to the background.  Looking at the painting, you'll see that there's the very light sky background, a slightly darker distant tree suggestion, then another closer silhouette of trees. I saved the texture for the foreground trees.

Being able to edit out objects and elements in a scene is an important component of plein air painting.  In reality, there was a dock, no boats, and no figure.  Since the shack was the focal point, adding the figure and the boats help focus your attention in that area. 

Don't be afraid to add or subtract elements that add interest.  And save texture for the foreground!

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