My new set-up which is different not necessarily lighter because I have discovered that my pastel box weighs a hefty 10-12 pounds loaded. My tripod was a little wobbly and I am thinking that I need to buy a tripod that can handle the weight. Those pastels are too expensive to have them hit the rocks because of my tripod breaking.
The easel that you see here is one that my daughter and son-in-law gifted me a year ago. It is lightweight and folds up into its own carrying case. A keeper so far I am happy to report. I will be looking yet for a lighter pastel box. My current box is a Heilman but the standard size that doesn’t allow for the easel attachment. I am thinking of this one also made by Heilman: http://heilmandesigns.com/product/heilman-sketchbox-double/
I am about 20 minutes from this location just on the other side of the Indian Valley Outpost area along the North Yuba river. I decided to get a head start on my painting before the sun hit my scene.
The sun started creeping across the river to brighten up my scene. I sometimes wonder if my technique of late is perhaps setting myself up with paintings that are too dark. I have the tendency to not get my darks down when blocking in my painting. My only misgiving is that the dark can be very overwhelming and I end up hoping for the light. When the river is in the dark the richness of colors is so enticing and yet I wonder if I am being pulled into the dark too much. Not sure what I am really trying to get at other than this is all an experiment.
My painting and my scene. I realized too late that in order to come away with a completed painting or almost completed one, I have to paint on a smaller size of paper. I discovered too late in the game that my paper was too big for plein air. After 11 years you would think that I know this. I was holding onto this larger sized paper to use it for painting a mountain range (Sierra Buttes).
On this particular day I grabbed it not thinking that I should have kept it small. So, what you see is actually an underpainting. The paper size is about 18 x 16 inches. Much too big for what I am doing here. I typically paint on 9 x 12 sized paper or 11 x 14.
Light! Now the rush is on….painting by the seat of my pants. Odd to say that I am finding that the sun bleaches out those rich colors that I have chased in the past. Now that I start a painting in the “dark” I am becoming more sensitive to light and color. Some days it brings in some beautiful rich color but today I wasn’t able to pick out all those wonderful colors once the sun hit the river.
A close-up of a rock that I was hoping to get the perfect photo. Hard when I am chasing light, color and perfection!
I often will take close-ups of water always looking and studying it to understand how water moves or looks. In order to paint water well, you need to know it. So much so when you paint water, you are water.