Thursday, June 23, 2011

Acadia National Park Plein Plein Air Painting Workshop - Day 3

(Photo Courtesy Pat LaBrecque)

For our third day, we headed over to Manset again, this time to the town wharf.  We had a bit of wind, but that at least kept the moored boats all pointing in the same general direction.  One of the problems with painting boats, especially moored boats, is that they do  move.  Both wind and tide, however little of each there seems to be, will cause subtle shifts in perspective and angle.  It'll drive you mad.  The best approach is to do a quick, initial sketch right on your canvas to capture the angles.

Here's my little boat demonstration.  I treated the boat as a simple oblong, and then reshaped the oblong by painting the negative space around the boat.  It was also important to get the sense of strong sunlight on the hull; I used cadmium red light with a touch of cadmium yellow deep for the sunlit areas, and cadmium red light with alizarin crimson for the shadows. (5x7, oil).

Later, we headed over to a swamp near the Back Bay area, in Bernard.  (Mount Desert Island is filled with tiny towns with quaint names.)  I chose to do a tree demonstration there.  It was challenging, since the trees were all crowded together, making it difficult to see where one tree ended and the next one began.  The best approach here is to squint - really squint - and simplify the masses.  I like to treat trees as silhouettes and add the mid-values and highlights at the end.

We had a group dinner at Mainely Delights, right near the Swan Island ferry, and had a fine sunset view.  For workshops through art centers such as the Acadia Workshop Center, we usually have a group dinner.  It's a lot of fun, and we even talk about art!

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