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Brighter Color in Plein Air

Oil painting of jug fountain filled with plants at Grayt Grounds of Monet Monet

Oil painting of a carousel, showing the roosterLast week I was late getting to the weekly plein air session.  Each week the Emerald Coast Plein Air Painters receive an email telling us where and when we will be meting to paint that Wednesday morning, and what time we will be meeting for critique afterwards.  We usually paint for 2 or 3 hours, depending on what time we get there.  I had a few tasks I had to attend to, so I was late arriving, and rushed to get started, failing to sketch my painting before starting, and only half finished and generally dissatisfied when it was time to break for critique and lunch.  We had met in the Village of Baytowne at Sandestin, and I had chosen to paint a part of the carousel near the central pond.  I picked the rooster of the carousel because it was bright and shiny and sassy.  When I returned to my studio, I started over and re-painted it, above left.

Oil painting of jug fountain filled with plants at Grayt Grounds of Monet MonetThis week we met at Grayt Grounds of Monet Monet, a coffee shop with wonderful gardens in back, styled after the gardens and home of Monet in Giverny, France.  There were at least 16 happy painters, working on everything from the statuary and other yard art to the flora to the building itself, and one painter even painted another painter.

I think the instruction of Julie Gilbert Pollard in the workshop I attended a few weeks ago helped me with the use of brighter colors in my paintings these two weeks.  Certainly in the painting I did yesterday, I purposefully used dark valued intense colors where I wanted dark values, instead of mixing dull grayed darks.  As a result, the whole painting has a much more intense tone.  My shorter, blocky brushstrokes also represent a significant change, but I think they make the terra cotta fountain look metallic.  I will try to remember to use that type of brushstroke next time I am painting metal.




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