Sunday, August 11, 2013

Gloria J Zucaro's "A Great Day for Plein Air"

Yesterday morning we were to arrive at Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington at 8 AM for a demo given by Kathy Clouse. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the 70's and no wind to knock the easel over. There were about 20 of us all dragging our equipment behind us along a path to the chosen spot for the demo. We were to do our own Plein Air after the demo, if desired. There was no instruction, just the demo. Kathy started by telling how she had chosen that particular spot. Good large shapes, water, pond scum that was a beautiful lime green, flowers on two banks. She said the values of some light and some dark were good, too. She started with a canvas toned in a combination of reds and yellows because it gives a nice glow under the painting and she lets some show through in the final painting. Kathy then began to put in the first thin coats of paint for the large dark shapes. She did not draw any placement marks and used various dark colors under the different areas depending on what the actual final color would be. The treed areas which were dark, came first then a bit of blue for the sky. Afterwards the shapes for the water and berm with hardy hibiscus. She did not finish the painting, because it was only a demo to show us how she starts. She had painted the same area the week before and showed us her finished painting. It was beautiful! I would show you, but she hasn't posted it yet.

After the demo we all picked out spots and began our own paintings. About 6 of us parked our supplies in an area nearby getting various views of the area where the demo had been. Others moved far afield to other areas of the preserve.  I was doing pastel and set up a little down the path from where Kathy had been. This is the actual scene that I chose.
Here is my pastel Plein Air painting. I used Canson Mi-Tientes black paper, the"rough"side because I like the texture. The only area I smoothed with my finger was the sky, but then put some more pastel over that without smoothing it in. I did put some red, yellow and orange under the area I would be doing my painting on to give some warmth underneath.