Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Morning at the Watefront

In conjunction with their current exhibit, our local museum recently had a plein air painting event. Over 20 members of the Plein Air Painters of America came to our downtown waterfront and created paintings based on the theme "the Allure of Water". I had previously attended a plein air painting event and enjoyed it immensely, and now that I've tried plein air painting, I just had to watch the pros again.

I decided the best way to learn from the experts was to watch one artist from start to finish and take photos as he painted. When I arrived several painters (who had started early) were already well into their paintings, but this painter was just setting up. His name is Ray Roberts and he is from a nearby town. I soon realized that he was the painter who made my favorite painting from the event two years ago.

The event was sort of like an auction. If you liked the painting (and could afford it) you put your name in the artist's box. When the paintings were all done and displayed they chose the lucky buyer from the box, but you could still change your mind and pass on it allowing the next person picked to buy it.

Here is Ray's preliminary wash and rough in.

He brought a palette that already had lots of paint mixtures on it so he was able to quickly block in the value and color masses.

He was attracting all kinds of attention and I felt good that I had picked him to watch. He gives workshops, but I got a FREE one!

His paid model would pose for about 20 minutes, and then take a 5 minute break.

I must have taken a walk, because the progress is very evident here. He had been painting for about an hour and a half at this point. I think this was about where he said, "What am I going to do with that railing?" He did simplify if considerably, but he has an official artist license, so he can do that sort of thing and get away with it.

After two and a half hours, the painting was done, he paid his model, packed up his equipment, and carried his painting down to the auction site.

Next post I'll show some of the other paintings.

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