Friday, May 20, 2011

Plein Air Week 7: DeMartini Orchard

My next project is a colorful fruit stand not far from work.  It's a great subject, but the only place to really set up is in this tiny little corner of the curb practically in the parking lot.  I did a quick study of another fruit stand I found on-line.

Here's a photo of the fruit stand:


Here is the painting I did on-site.  It was a bright morning, with lots of people going in and out of the store.  I had some trouble figuring out how to do the interior of the store, so I put a car there, but I wish that I hadn't because it doesn't look right.

The best part I think is the umbrella:

Here is a version with the car cropped out:

I am going to take a little break from the weekly painting.  There's a class I'll join again in the fall, and potentially one that starts in July, but I'm not sure about that one.  I will still do some painting this summer, but I want to spend more of my free time being a little more active, and maybe do some reading and bike riding.  I'll still post what I do paint, but it probably won't be as often.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Plein Air Week 6: Capitola Beach

Capitola Beach is a beautiful beach less than an hour from my house, so when some friends invited us to spend the day there with them it seemed like the perfect opportunity for some plein air painting.

I have pretty limited experience painting the ocean, so I watched some youtube videos to try to understand what makes a wave.  I was working very quickly (because it was getting late the night before the beach), so each painting only took about 20 minutes.  They're loose, and not fantastic.  My least favorite is the one with the boy digging in the sand because it's not very good AND because I accidentally gave him a great big sad frown.  My favorite is this first one, because it's the first time I've done reflections.  They were a lot easier than I thought they'd be and I think this one was the best of the bunch.  (It was also the best youtube tutorial.)

This next one is the painting I did at the beach.  There was a kite flying competition that day, and someone was flying a kite right on the part of the beach I wanted to paint.  It didn't come out that great, but it's one of the only paintings I've done where the person didn't come out looking kind of oddly scary.  Instead the scary part is the kite, which looks like a strange, giant bird about to attack the helpless little girl on the beach.  :)

I need to spend some serious time practicing beach paintings since I live so close and will probably have lots of opportunities to paint ocean scenes.  One fun part was having so many people come up and compliment me.  They were probably just being nice, but someday I'd like to paint something I think deserves the fuss.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Plein Air Week 5: Redwood City Marina

This first painting I did from a photo in prep for painting on site:

Then I did this one on site...

I think it's a stronger piece if I crop out some of the water:

I'm probably going to do a light wash over the water to add a little more color, and I wish I didn't paint the purple right up next to the green.  I may scrub it out, but it's not bad and I'm worried I'd ruin it.