Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Plein Air Adventures - Melville's Hills
brought it home and worked on it for a couple hours the next day because it didn't stop raining for 3 days. all in all, I think this one came out pretty good. I'm painting thicker and more confidently. my mixing has gotten better too
Posted by Michael Rousseau at 4:02 PM No comments:
Labels: art technique, drawing, landscape, materials, nature
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Plein Air - Magnolias
Following the State Forrest adventure, I headed into Williamstown after seeing a picture a friend took of a Magnolia tree by a small brook. It looked so lush. After finding out the secret location, I packed up the car and headed out shortly before 1pm.
Armed with deet (because this was in high grass) I set up underneath a very high in the sky sun and got to work. Note to self *start paying attention to the sun more in relation to where you set up because it moved from behind my easel to shining directly on it. I was blinded by the light within an hour. Everything got washed out and looked light blue. I'm not ready to get an umbrella - no way - not yet. A nice woman from a local paper snapped some pics of me working.
I had to leave after two hours because of blindness. when I got home and propped the picture up, I was not pleased. I hadn't realized how off my colors were in the bright sun. I tried to tweak it that night, but got nowhere. very frustrated with it. hardest thing I've tried to paint in a while. seriously.
Two days later I was back, slightly earlier in the day, and determined to get it right.
I didn't spend enough time working out the drawing/composition initially, so I had to re-do quite a bit of what I had done previously. Plus my color choices were piss-poor. but I stood there and got as much in as I could before snapping a couple pics and bringing it home to the studio for finishing.
Even at home, I spent a lot of time trying to get this to look right (or at least better).
Very strong sun on half of my body for 2+ hours left me a nice shade of red, but eventually turned to tan.
Posted by Michael Rousseau at 3:19 PM No comments:
Labels: art technique, color, landscape, re-working
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Plein Air Adventures - Looking West
This trip was to the lookout at the Pittsfield State Forrest - looking west into New York state - the little lights in the top left are Chatham (I think) This was a two part painting. The first trip out was extremely windy and all I could get was a quick sketch on the canvas. This picture is only 15x15 so it was like a sail.
With one hand on my sturdy easel, and the other holding a brush, I sketched out my composition using Cobalt Violet (thanks Stape) before eventually being blown over. I snapped a couple pics before I left because the light was gorgeous.
Two days later I went back. I had written down the time that I was there, so I planned to get there an hour and a half earlier to get set up and cracking. It was cold. A few people came by now and again, and they only lasted about 5-10 minutes before getting back in their cars. It took me a bit to get the canvas covered, but once it was, I was able to really start shaping/describing with color what I was perceiving. I was in the zone. I worked solid until about just before the sun dipped below the horizon. all in all, I was there for just over two hours.
The trick is to pick your "time of day" and stick with it - even as the light changes.
I also snapped this picture in the middle of working to show that shadows are indeed cool (in sunlight)
Posted by Michael Rousseau at 2:51 PM No comments:
Thursday, May 5, 2011
I bought a table saw finally! Buying stretcher bars gets expensive, plus I want to start painting on panels when I go outside.
Now I am in production mode creating panels for my Plein Air painting trips.
I bought a $120 Ryobi- it does the job. I bought a 4'x8' sheet of 1/8" masonite and cut twelve 16"x20 panels plus a few odd sizes. I oil primed all of them (3 coats with a roller). I then cut 2 of the panels in half to make a few 10"x 16"
This saved me a bunch of time by preparing them all at once. I can also build my own stretcher frames too!
Posted by Michael Rousseau at 10:55 PM No comments:
Labels: materials, stretchers
Sunday, May 1, 2011
How to Rig a French Easel for Working Outside
The problem is that most of the appendages and bars have a little bolt you hand tighten to keep it in place, but it never stays tight enough and they slip. So I drilled holes in the legs and slid a nail through so they cannot collapse. The holes are a hair larger than the nails, so the fit is easy, and they go in and out smoothly. The nails are 2" so they hang out the other side. I keep a bunch inside the easel, and in my bag when I go out, so I don't worry if I loose one or misplace one.
This works perfectly.
It is very stable -
This picture is of my first day out painting this season. Woods Pond in Lenox.
Posted by Michael Rousseau at 10:06 PM No comments:
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