Spring is such an amazing time of year to be outside painting, though a little unpredictable with the weather. The light is warm and the colors are starting to pop.
In my supply list, on this blog, there are items that an artist should consider for working outside. You should have equipment that are portable, which means you should figure out what you really need. All other stuff should be left in the studio. Useful to have is a well packaged painting kit, portable easel and light weight table, bungees to tie stuff down, (strong winds at Fruitlands), landscape umbrella, (not great to work in full sun) and supplies to help you feel physically comfortable enough. In my classes I will demonstrate my set up. Possible sites to look at for supplies:
Judson’s Art Outfitters https://www.judsonsart.com/ or Jerry’sartarama or DickBlicks
The other project to do before going outside to painting is to do some prep, either the week before or the night before. The week before, you can do the thumb nail drawings and designing. You might find it useful to do a drawing on your canvas before you come to class. Get the drawing correct before painting. It will save you time. I always set up my pallet the night before I go out. I put out my basic colors and I might do a little mixing for additional colors that I think I might use. In no way does this mean I don’t have to mix colors on location. It just means I am a little ahead of the game and get right to work.
The light is fleeting and there is only three hours to get it down. Which sounds like a lot of time but it is not.
On the first project be sure to get the perspective correct of your structure and connect it with its environment, the landscape. Don’t worry about the details of the structure, like the windows and doors, until you get this first step completed. And make sure you can identify where the light is coming from, this will make your life easier. Remember you don’t have to do an entire building… you can crop it to one side or another of the building in your landscape. In previous blogs I have a lot of thumb nails of landscape designs. At a later point I will put up some perspective clues, to help the process along.
The second project is to do a circular painting. Why? Great compositional challenge. It will help reinforce painting a rectangle. What I like about this project is it relates to the history of early American women painters. The women who painted the beautiful design on plates. More on this later.
Don’t worry about perfection. Enjoy the process. And remember there are no have to’s here, just suggestions for your learning experience.