Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dirty Palette Summer starts!

Hey, well its been a while since I've posted anything here but the Dirty Palette is back in full swing with our first summer outing at the Markward Recreation Center off of 27th street in Philly. The boys and I met up at school and then we trucked it over a short car ride to the park which is near the South Street bridge which is under construction. Sue biked over later and joined us for a little while.

The park is a really awesome little spot with lots of good stuff to paint nearby including plenty of old "Joker Hideouts" as i call the variety of abandoned or run down old buildings and factories which dot the city.

Once in the park we split up to find our spots, the sun gives you maybe 3-4 hours tops to get in whatever you are gonna do before it changes on you. It was a great day full of that silvery sort of light that Philly has, perfect temp too. Lots of people stopped by to watch or comment including a gaggle of school girls from a local school. They were all fascinated with seeing me paint and with the fact I had included Joel in the painting, "Hey you painted Joel!"

I found my spot and went at it quick, set up my palette based on what I saw. I always try and put down colors that are really close to the big color masses I see when I take my glasses off. I was using an old canvas that somebody had left in school, I sanded it down and re-primed it, it was still a bit chunky in spots and that added to the textured surface I wanted on this one-shot painting.

Using a 2B pencils I quickly sketched out the compositing and then using the biggest brush and one of those foam wedge brushes massed in the big shapes quick. I was also thinking a pre=planning the end of the painting as I knew the light world shift a bit and tried to take advantage of that. I also tried to really balance the interest, the red car vs Joel, so your eye would jump around and move. Sometimes nature hypnotizes you, and I have to stop and think and not get seduced by some glorious detail. I re-massed the foreground more than once to not end up fracturing that plane and unite that shadow mass. I would try and remember what Sargent would do in this case--each stroke counts, plane, color, value....

Here is a shot of the painting in the middle stage, here I could either go forward and make a decent painting or ruin it...

Here is the finished painting.

Joel found a great spot and did a great little Plein Air.
Sue broke out her sketchbook.
Dave did watercolors but refused to show them to me...

Joel and I take a break.

Will and Dave with Will's painting.

Joel painting away...

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