Thursday, September 21, 2006

Plein Aire Landscape Studies in Oil

I've been so busy with work for the past month and a half that I've barely had time to eat and sleep, much less update my blog. In any case, I finally have time to do it now.

Over the past few months I've been doing some plein aire landscapes in oil. I've wanted to improve my skill with landscapes (and my skill with painting in general) and I think this is an effective way to do that. It forces me to be quick and astute in my observations. It's amazing how quickly the light changes and what a challenge it is to struggle to get something done before the landscape looks completely different from how it looked at the beginning of the painting. Landscapes are also an issue with me because there are so many tiny overlapping elements (thousands of leaves, branches and such) that you absolutely have to become skilled with "suggesting" the detail rather than explicitly rendering it. I've always been stronger with explicit rendering than with suggestion and I think that's kept me from reaching my full potential. I'm not quite where I want to be with these paintings, but I'm hoping to get much better over time with these exercises.