Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Plein Air painting- Beach scene

Beach day plein air sketch
I was able to do a plein air painting at our local beach recently. These works are in order to help me improve and increment my landscape painting skills. I wanted to catch the mood of the morning which was somewhat overcast and despite the ominious weather there were a  few people out on the water enjoying the sea. What I find the most challenging about landscape painting is trying to pick out what is important and dealing with the landscape constantly changing. With a medium like watercolor it can be daunting because you need to plan things in advance. I like the way this approach pushes me to be quicker and to prioritize in order to have the important bits down as I observe what is in front of me before it changes.

when I was getting ready to leave, the beach was filling up in spite of the bad weather

I dropped my pallette in the sand :(

Friday, 26 April 2013

The Color Purple

"Purple Tulips" 10".5 x 14"/ 27 x 36 cm

I began this painting back in March and was hoping to have it finished by Easter ... well I'm a little late. I worked on it and in trying to imitate the purples in the photo it was just coming out terrible! I am even too embarassed to show you what level of horrible I achieved. I didn't want to give up so I wiped it out and started over. I'm happy with it enough now, I've discovered how difficult it is to work with the color purple. There's a lesson in every painting!

Gratitude goes to Deb Brookshier Photography for allowing me to use her image: fresh tulips would have never lasted this long. Have a great weekend everyone and thank you for visiting my blog!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Plein Air sketching

plein air sketch from Pineta Sacchetti Park
I have had one of those weeks where you have a million things to do all at once and you don't know quite where to start. Fortunately an appointment brought me next to this park which happens to  look over St. Peter's Cupola and allowed me to have some painting time while I waited. Pineta Sacchetti Park is an integral part of the Regional Park of Pineto, a protected natural area of about 240 hectares, located between the districts of Aurelio in Rome, Primavalle and Triumphal Way. I packed my Cotman pocket box and some paper and managed to get some sketching in while I waited. What I find impressive is how large the cupola appears live even if it is far in the distance. I felt I might have made a  mistake in my sketch but it really is that massive.
 I had to be back in the same location again later in the week  for yet another appointment and did some drawing in my sketchbook while waiting. This time I wanted to capture the beautiful Roman pines that are so famous for their welcoming shade. The weather is warming up and it's quite enjoyable to be outside. It's not always all fun, some times you need  to work too, this is my version of fun, though!

At the entrance of the park an anonymous street artist created this sculpture in the early 2000s an ape from a trunk of pine cut: the same almost immediately was damaged by vandals.
In 2010 another hand, always anonymous, has made ​​the restoration and a new paint color

the Cupola appear smaller in the photo but its size is impressive.

pen and ink sketch of a Roman pine

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Sunday Sketches...A morning at the beach.

 I would like to share with you some sketches I did this morning. The beach is not  far from my house and we enjoy going there as often as we can. We were out early to try and beat the crowds and found a lot going on.  I didn't bring an eraser with me in order to force myself to draw and avoid trying to get the drawing just right. I often end up spending more time erasing than drawing! I wanted to capture a moment and challenge myself with a moving subject. I have difficulty with people moving, which they do especially when caught up in activities like fishing or enjoying a family day at the beach.
There was a fishing contest and I tried to capture the fisherman in action.

This family came out for a playdate. If you get  far away enough you don't bother them, obviosly people don't always take so well to being subjects of someone drawing them.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Rainbow Oranges

"Rainbow Oranges" watercolor on paper 10" x 7"/ 25 x 18 cm.

I had a hard time getting going after the Easter holiday but I've been slowly working on this painting every time I had five minutes to spare here and there. I feel it's finished, I am afraid to overwork it at this point. For those of you who are not familiar with the Tarocco blood orange, it is a treat around this time of year here in Italy. They explode with juice and color when sliced. In our family it's almost like a prize to see who gets the darkest and juicest one at the table.  Some people have it down to a science to know which one will offer the darker flesh just from the color of the peel.

I was hoping to capture the explosion of juice and color as the warm Roman sun hits across its dark flesh. I would like to rename these fruits rainbow oranges for the celebration of color that they contain.
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