West of Cedar Fort - 10" x 8" , Oil
Yesterday afternoon I took off to paint in the desert again. Richard Hull, David Meikle and I ventured out into the sagebrush west of Cedar Fort, Utah about an hour from my house to paint for a bit. It was a bit frigid at around 33 degrees but stretches of sunshine and breaks from the biting wind made things bearable.
The View west of Cedar Fort, Utah
There is really nothing that can substitute for what you learn painting out of doors. I didn't really understand this until I started doing it, but I think it has to do with being forced to observe from life and then respond to that immediately in paint. You have to make decisions regarding composition and color in the moment. You are compelled to either change a painting based on fleeting shadow patterns or stick with your original impression.
The picture in progress
I changed up the lighting patterns in my picture about halfway through because I liked the simpler shapes on the mountains to the right of my composition when they fell into shadow. This would not have happened if I had simply been working from a photo and I like the painting better as a result. This painting was done in a bit under 2 hours. I'll work on it a little more in studio to finish it up. Can't wait for the next chance I get to go paint outside.