Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Finishing Plein Air in Studio

South Lake - Oil on panel, 10" x 8"

This painting was started during my recent painting trip to California. I still consider myself a real plein air novice and consequently some of my studies really weren't up to my finished standards. A lot of plein air painting purists would cringe at the thought of reworking an on location painting in the studio, but for me the experience of beginning outdoors only heightened the process once inside.

South Lake - as painted on location
The first impression that I captured outdoors held a lot of good things to me, including the overall color sense and the overall composition, but I was not satisfied with the either the brushwork, nor the texture of certain areas. I felt like the trees in particular did not really feel like the trees I observed. I wanted to also add more depth to the shadow planes and better define some of the shapes I found in the landscape. I lightly "oiled" the entire painting and began a process of evaluating and added paint strokes in almost every area of the piece.

Brushwork detail

Some passages received just a few brushstrokes while others were nearly completely painted over. I focused on more pleasing brushstrokes, more interesting color as well as shifts in color temperature. Overall I spent somewhere around three hours reworking this piece and I am much more satisfied with the result. A collector friend of mine is buying it for a Christmas present, so I have popped it in a frame for him.

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