I'm always dreaming of painting outdoors. I can't think of anything more fun than to simply choose to go somewhere and sit down and do a complete painting in one sitting. I love the looks of Contemporary California Impressionists paintings and eventually my goal is to learn to do similar work.
Today was a pretty slow day so I decided to go outside and try painting my neighbors hillside. Again, I used an underpainting to get me started. I went a little dark with it but it worked out ok. Before I try something like this I pick a scene, stop and think how I will paint it and then begin painting. This is a study so I'm not looking for a masterpiece, I'm learning to paint outdoors, which with oil, is very different from painting indoors for me. This piece took about an hour to do including my setting things up outside. After doing this piece I thought about things I'd do differently in the next attempt and I think my results will be better in the next one purely from the experience gained here.
The pochade box I'm using was built from scratch by my Dad. I told him what I was looking for and sketched it out one night on scratch paper over coffee. I let him have the final say in building it since he is a hobby wood worker and has probably forgot more than I know in life. I took 4 years of woods class in High School but he has been building things in his spare time most of my life....so that's 49 years to my measly 4 in HS. The box works great...a little heavy but most of that weight is from the old tripod he had laying around he gave me. This box can handle anything up to a 12"x16"...not sure if I'll ever be able to paint PA at that size but you never know.
Here are some pics of my little experience at my drive-ways end.....
Seen here is my too red underpainting. I could go totally blue in the sky but wanted to let some of the red show through.
Now laying in my foreground grasses. In my finished version I need to do detail to that area but what was finished today in less than an hour is a good starting point for this little attempt.
And here is the finished version. There is some of the red underpainting showing through the foreground grasses....I'm not crazy about the lack of detail there and might do more once the paint sets up. The tree skyholes were added but looked too out of place with the more whiter sky I had so I added blue to the sky to match it all up. All in all, looks pretty cool to me for just a second attempt. I've thought of a different way to speed up painting in highlights and will try that in the next one....we'll see what happens.
And yet another pic...this one of me posing with the pochade box. We live on a hill so we get winds and it was cold to begin with. Still painting in the snow would be totally no fun. I have to say that the people who do this in really adverse weather are more dedicated than I am....I did my survival training back in 76-79 so I'm good to go there and not looking to adding to it with a painting box in tow.