Plein Air Painting at Quail Hollow - August 2011
Foggy Morning at Quail Hollow - Plein Air Painting
It’s time to confess – I didn’t make it to the Pond in July as I was away in Maine. So I’m now back and ready to continue with my monthly visits for 3 more months – to complete my Year of Painting at Quail Hollow Challenge.
This month’s painting experience is different for several reasons – for one thing, Quail Hollow itself looks very like late Summer – with the trees all mature in their leaf canopies and the meadow grasses more tan and yellow than the last time I was here 2 months ago.
I notice the faint aroma of skunk as I walk on the dried out path to the pond. No need to wear rubber boots this time – the ground is dry and cracked. The pond waters have receded a lot as well. The paired up ducks and coots no longer an item either - they have moved on to other concerns and are solitary.
Thick fog is in from the ocean several miles distant. It will clear by 11am but I start my painting without benefit of sun initially.
I am painting with four other experienced and accomplished plein air painters from my oil painting group today. They are Mary Garon, Judy Miller, Carol Bower and Christine de Faymorea. Judy and Carol are pastel painters. You can find their websites on the Favorite Links section of this website.
I have decided to try a different approach to my painting process this month. I initially put a thin coat of Liquin (a drying medium) onto my panel. I then block in the major shapes of my painting using transparent dark color only (sap green, Indian yellow, ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson)– and I keep the paint on the dry side – no mineral spirit or other thinning agent.
This transparent dark under painting is then blotted lightly with a paper towel. This creates an interesting texture and random design as the basis for the painting to follow. I work over the top of this initial layer using my usual technique and brush work. I allow small areas of the initial under painting to peek through as I work.
I think this approach can be effective for landscapes that have lots of dark areas and so the Pond is a perfect candidate this time.
All too soon, my monthly painting is done. Next month will bring Fall and some lovely tree colors so I’m already looking forward to my return. Until then, Dear Pond.