Thursday, May 16, 2013

Estero Bay Plein Air


Yesterday we drove north of Morro Bay to Estero Bay and set up our plein air gear.  Normally we would not have been thinking

"plein air", but because we had taken some mentoring plein air sessions with Christine Debrosky while in Cottonwood (see Allan and Christine to the left), we now had a little more confidence in being outside and finding a composition in the great expanse of views available.  Prior to working with Christine, we had attempted plein air a couple of times and usually ended up tossing the efforts into the trash. 

After working with Christine, we felt that we had paintings with some merit, even if only to be used as studies for a studio painting later.  We both felt that Christine helped us in analyzing a composition, determining values and colors that should be used to depict what we saw in the landscape, how to minimize the details for the most effect, not to mention all the prompting to include atmospheric perspective, having a lead in for the eye into the painting, and on and on.  To the right is the painting that I accomplished with much advice and encouragement from Christine. 
An additional benefit that she gave us was the ease of plein air painting.  We were not far from the vehicle or a restroom at any time and the morning was warm but not uncomfortable.  She made the whole experience so enjoyable, we wanted to try it again.  To the left is the painting that Allan did on day one. 
We were not able to do much more painting while we were up in Cottonwood because we were also taking care of the Sedona Show and had to return home for a couple of days for doctors appointments, but we were determined to give plein air another try at our first opportunity.
Well now that time had come.  Just north of  Cayucos is a beautiful state park called Estero Bay and we pulled up in the truck, walked several feet down a trail and set up our easels.  Within minutes we were doing a value sketch, followed by sketching on UArt paper and setting in the values with alcohol.  The focus was supposed to be the tree with a little ocean in the background.  I was also trying to keep in mind Kim Lordier's words about painting trees.....
"sketch the gesture of the tree".    I wish we could have had Christine on our shoulder looking on and advising but we did our best to remember all her words of advice.  We worked for a couple of hours in the warm sunshine and finally as the wind started picking up we called it a day.  We took a

look at our paintings and felt that we did fine for our initial efforts.  Even though we are painting the exact same view, our paintings are still quite different.    All of this effort required a reward, so we packed up everything in the truck and headed to Cayucos where we
went to Schooners for lunch.  Halibut and chips for Allan, a salad for me... plus I helped Allan with some of his halibut.  We sat out on the upper deck in the warm sunshine, soaking up the rays, and feeling pretty good about our morning. 


No comments:

Post a Comment