i’m gradually settling down on a familiar palette. to date, these are what i think i’d use often with confidence: Williamsburg Egyptian Violet, Williamsburg Raw Umber, Cerulean Blue (including hue)*, Ultramarine Blue*, Cadmium Orange*, Cadmium Lemon Yellow*, Naples Yellow (including hue)*, and Yellow Ochre*.
*Gamblin or Old Holland
it’s curious how being sick could trigger nostalgic emotions and memories. i think social life seems a bit simpler back then (but when was “back then” anyway?) when all you have were friends, family or enemies. now we have to fuss about where to place each person we meet or connect with. hmmm, lets see, are you friends, family, close friends, acquaintances, subscribers, fans, followers, professionals, or trollers? and then there are subcategories like, online or real-life.
i have no idea what does this have anything to do with my studio notes, but here it is, something i’d usually do before i paint—that is, pondering out loud and procrastinating.
anyway, i should simplify my palette, and my brush work. i’m gradually settling on a familiar palette. to date, these are what i think i’d use often with confidence: Williamsburg Egyptian Violet, Williamsburg Raw Umber, Cerulean Blue (including hue)*, Ultramarine Blue*, Cadmium Orange*, Cadmium Lemon Yellow*, Naples Yellow (including hue)*, and Yellow Ochre*.
*Gamblin or Old Holland
Farmhouse at Tavarnelle. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.
some of the fun things about the Internet is that we use it like a diary, but it’s not as private. people tend to think out loud on the Internet posting online to share their thoughts, and what they’re doing or have done. just like what i’m doing right now.
i enjoy it when other artists share their thoughts, their processes, and some finished works online. marc dalessio’s blog is one of them. he doesn’t seem to post often, but whenever he does, it’s always a pleasure to read and look at. i enjoy studying his paintings—composition, colors, brush work, etc. you could learn aplenty not only with your ears, but also with your eyes.
i think most of marc dalessio’s small plein air paintings are sketches for larger pieces, nevertheless they’re finished works. i hope he’d share his process of how he takes his field paintings and translate them into large paintings in the studio. interestingly, i’ve seen some of his posts where he has a large canvas en plein air. so i think not all of his large paintings are an all-studio work.
please visit dalessio’s blog at www.marcdalessio.com
Twelve Tips for Painting Landscape in Plein-aire
1—The keyword in plein-aire painting is simplify. This applies to materials, techniques and procedures.
2—Choose your subject and verbalize why you want to paint it.
3—Position yourself with the sun on the left or right of the subject. Avoid the sun at your back. Early mornings and late afternoons provide dramatic lighting.
4—Establish the horizon line.
5—Observe atmospheric perspective. Cool colors recede, warm colors come forward.
6—Identify the center of interest.
7—Identify the lightest lights and darkest darks to begin establishing the values involved.
8—Look at shadows. Identify cast and form shadows. Look for reflected light.
9—Make a quick thumbnail sketch of your subject. Use only 3 or 4 major values to visually explain your composition.
10—Use a limited palette, and put out a lot of paint.
11—When you begin painting, sketch with a round or flat brush, and keep painting with the biggest brush you can. Step back from you canvas every 5 minutes.
12—Work from big shapes to little shapes, dark values to light values, cool colors to warm colors.” —Gary Blackwell, Kline Academy