Let me show you my best painting secret!
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It may have something to do with springtime having arrived in the southern hemisphere. Extra light does seem to energise me! Painting outdoors is simply a joyful experience. Even when the results are not always as desired I get to learn from those mistakes. A lesson learned on the spot is a lesson remembered!
To be honest I am not a fan of painting in very windy conditions. We are spoilt for good weather, but even then it is possible to paint from a sheltered position. Painting from a window overlooking a scene is perfectly fine. Many great impressionists like Monet and Pissaro painted from their windows. The real difference to the painting is the immediacy of the response to the scene. There is not time to faff about - as they say. You have to get on with painting.
The second major plus is that you get to see so much more than with a photo. It is amazing how much a camera leaves out especially with shadow areas and the sky. The camera has to even out the scene so as not to over or underexpose parts of the scene. Your eye can however adapt to parts of the scene and therefore your ability to respond to these subtle colour and value changes is enhanced. This makes for a more interesting painting and exciting experience for the artist.
Many beginners struggle with painting colors like green and getting the true shape of trees correct is a nightmare. These aspects will improve greatly with outdoor observation and painting. When you truly see what is there with a discerning eye not only your art, but your appreciation for nature will grow too.
There are a lifetime's worth of lessons to be learnt with outdoor painting. Add this aspect to your painting from time to time and see if it works for you. Persist for a while since it is an adaption and the rewards will come. To encourage you, if you have not tried this before, I am including my Plein Air Painting notes for download here. The videos may be viewed on My Studio page.
I hope that all artists have a great outdoor experience - let me know how it goes! For collectors there is the added pleasure in knowing that your painting is a true artistic response to a scene - unique and filled with energy! Enjoy
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