Friday, October 17, 2014

Plein Air Paintings #1 & 2

I survived Mount Lebanon Plein Air 2014! The week was exciting, challenging, and exhausting, but a great experience for me. I made some new friends and was inspired by all the beautiful artwork that was produced. Because I had several prior commitments that week, my painting time was limited, but I completed four plein air paintings to enter in the competition. (I also entered six previously painted works as my reserve paintings. These were for sale, but were not included in the judging.)

The event schedule suggested that the artists paint in Pittsburgh early in the week, so I headed into the city bright and early Monday morning and sketched this scene of J&J's Family Restaurant in the Mount Washington area of the city. Lots of interesting people stopped by to chat as I sat opposite the restaurant, busily sketching away.

8" x 10",  ink & watercolor on Arches 140 lb. paper

The fall decorations in front of the store are what caught my eye, along with the nice detailing on the old Victorian.

The next day I stayed around Mount Lebanon and painted some of the beautiful old Tudor-style homes in a neighborhood just off the main street.

10" x 8",  ink, watercolor, and colored pencil on Arches 140 lb. paper

There are so many picture-perfect storybook cottages in Mt. Lebanon - it was hard to choose which one to paint. The pretty front walk lined with flowers gave this one the edge.

 The distinctive stonework was a lot of fun to paint...

For the slate roof, I lightly penciled in some lines with a grey colored pencil, then added more color and shadows with watercolor.

The initial washes on the trees were painted wet-in-wet, then darker contrasting shapes were added wet-on-dry. 

When I started this painting, the sun was shining on the houses, creating nice distinct shadows, but as I worked, the wind picked up and the sky darkened. I moved all my gear to my van just as the first raindrops began to fall. I set up my watercolors on the center console between the two front seats, raised the steering wheel out of the way, and kept on painting, pausing every few minutes to turn on the windshield wipers so I could see the houses I was painting. The life of a plein air painter isn't all sunshine and blue skies!

More plein air paintings coming up tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Such wonderful detailed stone & brickwork shown in these paintings. I always love to see your paintings, 'Bon Chance' for the judging.


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