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Sunday, March 14, 2010

March Morning - Plein-air

Daylight Savings time again, and this morning was beautifully sunny and warm.  Thank Goodness, because I have been so cold these days.  I don't understand that at all, but at least I had enough energy to load my car with my plein-air stuff, just 3 things,  and drive about 1/2 mile from the house to find a good quiet spot along Indian Creek.  I was looking for the beaver damns I knew to be here, but saw that they had been taken out to allow the water to flow more easily thru the canyon.   This is a good thing, but it probably won't be too long before the beaver have their damns back up!    I felt a bit dauted by the scene, however, as there are a lot of willows, and grasses, rocks, and mud-----but I was lucky enough to be able to simplify the scene by squinting, and doing the thumbnails that are so important  and help you to get what you want of the scene.  I used Uart sanded paper,  7 x 12---mounted to an 8 ply. mat board, and it was really nice to work on.   I drew my scene in, using a viewfinder, with a # 244 nupastel, getting the darks where they needed to be.  Going thru my mind was " darkest darks, lightest lights , most easy color" Well, a lot of things were going thru my head!  When I have my value drawing on the paper, I used alcohol to melt it down and make a very loose, painterly under painting.   It dries very fast, and I was ready to go into it with color.   I used a wide array of pastels, hard, mediums , and then finished with my amazing Terry Ludwigs Plein-air set.     The colors in the area are plenty muted as its not even spring yet, and these colors did a great job.    I had a wonderful time, and it was about 2 hours in all.


  1. Love how this turned out! Glad to see your out and about painting.

  2. Thanks so much, Ron and Carolyn!! So nice of you both to comment.

  3. Ida, I keep coming back to view this painting! The water is well done. Great composition. A favorite. I also read your profile and Smokey is one of my all time favorite books. I read it many years ago and still remember how wonderful the story was told. Thanks for bringing back that memory.