I was so excited and couldn’t wait to share my photos of my wonderful plein air painting and hike. I was disappointed to discover that using an unfamiliar setting on my camera caused my photos to turn out very odd! Lesson #1 don’t use a setting you have no idea what it is used for!
I decided to take my watercolors and do some painting on the North Yuba Trail where a creek empties into the North Yuba river. I hiked in about a mile to this lovely spot.
I enjoyed painting this so much and I felt in tune with my brushes, watercolor and the location. I think that rock on the left next to the water needs to be toned down just a bit, any suggestions? I will include a photo of my scene though bear in mind that it was on that crazy setting. Just for fun take a look:
I decided not to include my watercolor #2 it was alright but I had difficulty discerning all the foliage and it looked like a mess to me.
What I learned from today:
- Painting without self-criticism is working very well, no one standing over me with a whip today, kind of nice.
- Painting on dry paper is easier to control my values and charging in colors is fun and easier as well.
- Painting on dry paper, you can reserve whites as you go.
Now the kicker….what I discovered today is that watercolor painting en plein air is more tactile than using soft pastel. What a pleasant surprise! I am going to use an odd example here, so bear with me. I would compare using watercolor en plein air to the difference a horseback rider who learned on a western saddle…. who then changes to an English saddle. At first it is disconcerting to ride a horse with an English saddle because you feel more vulnerable and very much connected to the horse. With an English saddle you feel the movement of the horse better and you end up preferring an English saddle than a western. At least for me this was my experience.
As I sat there manipulating the paint, water and brush and I felt so in tune with what I was viewing and then transferring that to the paper, far more intimate than my painting with my pastels. I love the fact that I can hike in more than a mile to paint, with my pastels I am lucky if I can walk in less than an eighth of a mile.