Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mental Workouts

One of the advantages of plein air painting is learning to improvise. The selected scene to paint is subject to change quickly and not just the light. After spending the summer painting the Oklahoma barn area at Saratoga almost every day, I've become very familiar with the architecture of the barns. The structures basically are all alike and they're a similar putty green-gray throughout. Throw in some fall foliage and you've got yourself a pretty picture of complementary colors!
Autumn at Oklahoma, 10"x8", oil on panel, plein air

I surprised myself over the summer at what my memory is capable of. As the horses and riders were weaving themselves between the vehicles, I made a quick mental note of their height in comparison to nearby objects. That provided the scale and size they should be and I quickly and simply sketched in the figures. Try'll be amazed at how it builds your confidence.

Here's a quick cell pic of basically what I was painting. Because it's the off-meet, restrictions on parking have relaxed and the cars sort of come and go.
Mere calisthenics,


Andrea Steiner said...

That's really a nice one, Sharon.


Jo Castillo said...

This is super. Thanks for the hint, will check it out!

Sharon Crute said...

Thank you Andrea. Someone once said that it requires creating about 400 plein air paintings to finally know what you're doing. I'm only about a quarter there!

Sharon Crute said...

Jo, thanks for your encouragement. I am no longer so reliant on photos although there is still a place for them. It's a confidence-builder.