Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday Afternoon in the Brandywine

 Today Aaron Thompson and I headed back out to the Brandywine to paint early because the weather is hot, hot, hot and the storms were forecast to roll in by the afternoon. I took Aaron back to the spot I painted at last Saturday along the top of a hill off of Creek road that gives you a great view of a barn and the valley.

This spot also provides a nice place to park and shade to paint in---which is important when its 92 degrees out. The air was already heavy and thick, the hazy was building fast over the sweet fields of grass. We started right away, as I set up my rig Aaron did some thinking with a few sketches.


This time I wanted to use a panel instead of canvas  for a change and really liked it.  I settled on my view and sketched it in real quick with a wash of Quinacridone Red. I figures since there was still a lot of greens the red showing through in spots would look good.

 After a while I snapped a pick of Aarons sweet mass-in, you can see mine in the background and you can see the different ways we think about approaching the same subject colorwise.

 We knew we didn't have much time as the clouds were really starting to build in the heat of the afternoon. I finished before Aaron and sat as he finished up his painting with a few last deft touches. One thing for sure, it's important to know when to STOP! You can really %$#!! up a painting quickly with a few wrong notes or over tickling one spot compared to the rest of the canvas. The great painters make everything on the picture plane in harmony--and plein air painting is very demanding in this way. To get down in a bold way the atmosphere, or the "prevailing weather conditions" as Peter Van Dyck would say. What is the color of the air? The light? You must also be a great designer to say more with less and to rearrange, conduct and construct. Technical knowledge in the harness to your emotional reaction, a horse that must be in control or it will over do it and ruin things quick. I find I have spells of thinking and not painting---then painting very fast. Greens are so hard to paint, and there are so many dancing into your eyes, you can dance with them all.

 Below you can see my painting as I left it. my biggest issue was the foreground and the mass of grass and the detail. I didn't want to get too busy, but I did want to get in some texture and the colors that wove together. I must have painted it 4-5 times and remassed it each time.

 There is Aaron's final and I love how he stated the planes and the feeling of air, of atmosphere. We were both kind beat so we headed off to hanks to have lunch and as our sandwiches were being served the sky grew dramatically dark, so we beat the rain by less than 20 minutes. On the way home it stormed like mad, but that means green grass for tomorrow's plein air adventure!

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