I went Plein Air painting yesterday with several people from Kathy Delumpa Allegri’s watercolor class. It was wet and rainy. We’ve had a dry spell lately, so I won’t complain. It did affect the way I painted. This was my first plein air session in the rain, so it was interesting.
There was a covered patio to sit on, and the rain wasn’t too heavy. However, with so much damp, the watercolor didn’t want to dry, and the wet-on-wet technique was necessary whether you wanted it or not.
I decided to keep things very simple (for me, anyway).
This is the view I had.
What really drew me were the trees and mountains in the distance (which were clearer to the naked eye than they are in the picture. The tragedy of photography!)
This crop shows you what I zoomed in on.
My paper was Winsor and Newton, approx. 7 1/2 x 6 1/2, Like the Saunders Waterford that I reviewed yesterday, the Winsor and Newton Cold Press, 140 lb, doesn’t curl or buckle or dimple when wet, so I didn’t need to stretch it or tape it, and it performed beautifully in the damp conditions. The paint doesn’t dry brilliant – more matte, but less chalky than it does with the Waterford. I need to try it in less demanding weather conditions and see how well it does when it’s dryer.
Deciding less was better, especially at the size I was using, I ignored the middle tree,
I did get trapped trying to do a sort of reverse negative painting for the trees in the background. I ended up just smoothing that over. I’m not sure it would have worked even in better conditions, but now I know.
My two major colors were green-gold and cobalt blue. Most of the painting is done with mixes of the two. I used Quinacridone Violet for the reddish shadows
I had also brought my Stillman & Birn Beta journal, which has more of a hot press type surface. This gives more brilliance, but an even longer drying time. Since I needed to wait so long in between glazes, I did a line and wash with a J. Herbin Creapen brush pen. It is pretty much the same scene, but I zeroed in on the cabin area.
The ink was almost out in the cartridge, which gives an almost pastel appearance to the lines. I took advantage of that and went for texture in my drawing. I then painted over it with the mixes of green-gold and cobalt blue.
All-in-all, we had a fantastic time touring the vineyard, sharing a pot-luck lunch and painting, wet chilly weather or not. I’m ready to go again next year!