Monday, June 20, 2011

Plein Air Painting: Potomac River Series


Here are the paintings created during the third week of June.

20110614 Potomac River Series 09
Potomac River Series IX
{approx. 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – oil on gessoed paper}

Even when being by the river different scenes will capture my attention, and the way the leaves glowed yellow in the morning sun was something I wanted to try to capture.

20110617 Potomac River Series 10
Potomac River Series X
{approx. 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – oil on gessoed paper}

We have had a lot of overcast and rainy days lately and a lot of my focus this week was on trying to capture the fleeting impressions of the sky. In Carlson's
book on landscape painting he encourages you to work from memory, and I think trying to paint the sky as the clouds are constantly changing is pretty close to painting from memory because you have to work from an impression that changes immediately, so if you want to keep the initial composition of how the clouds were, you are engaging your memory.

20110617 Potomca River Series 11
Potomac River Series XI
{approx. 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – oil on gessoed paper}

Another sky study, with the clouds getting more threatening...

20110618 Potomac River Series 12
Potomac River Series XII
{approx. 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – oil on gessoed paper}

After the past few attempts of painting trees I decided to check out a few other landscape artists I admire and see how they block-in and paint trees, this study was incorporating a technique I read about in Kevin Macpherson's
book on page 58.

20110618 Potomac River Series 13
Potomac River Series XIII
{approx. 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – oil on gessoed paper}

Another sky/cloud study.

20110618 Potomac River Series 14
Potomac River Series XIV
{approx. 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – oil on gessoed paper}

Another sky/cloud study, sometimes I deliberately know what I am going after and try to achieve it, however with these two studies, I just wanted to experiment with shapes and edges.


I thought you may be interested in seeing my setup when working outside at the picnic tables that are in the park areas along the Potomac.

This is the simple setup where I head out only with my cigar box pochade and other equipment, like brushes, turp jar, and paper towels. The square piece of card board has been shellaced so it can handle multiple applications of tape that attaches the sheets of gessoed watercolor paper.

Setup with Cigar Box Pochade


Virginia Floyd said...

Good morning, Liz. I have been away from the computer for what seems like forever! I sat down this morning and read all your posts that I have missed. I enjoyed your plein air paintings and observations.

You portrait is coming along beautifully (why am I not surprised?). Your research and attention to detail are impressive. Very interesting about the limited palette.

And I hope you continue to feel well enough to paint!

eLIZabeth Floyd said...

Hi Virginia,

It is so nice to have you stop by :) I hope your move has been going well.

June has been a fun month, and going out on a regular basis to paint, either by the river or at the NGA has been very rewarding.

Take care, Liz