I signed up for a plein-air painting class…it was an all-day workshop by a local artist named Diane McClary. I’ve always wanted to paint out “in the open air”….. I figured if I signed up for the class it would make me get out there because it was on the calendar.
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There were six of us in the class. Most of the other students are regulars. The workshop starts at 9am at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitors Center. First there is a demonstration by Diane, she does a value study in black and white first:
Then she does a version in color:
I think I should start an ongoing What I Wore series. I wonder if anyone would take it seriously:
What I Wore
Free red umbrella
99 cent sunglasses to match
Camouflage hat (brandless)
Apron left over from Boo’s beauty salon party
White t-shirt and jeans
It was fascinating to watch Diane paint. I think I learned more from her in just a few hours than I think I ever learned in my studio art classes in college. She talked us through every step and how she chose her colors for mixing etc.
The color recipes were very helpful, like mixing black and yellow to get green? That is just not intuitive unless you see someone do it:
I love the plain air easel and palette. It folds up and the paints will stay workable for a while. That makes things so much easier. Diane has a guide to placing your paint (on the supply list) on her website here.
Diane’s finished painting:
We were positioned right at the trail head so we saw lots of hikers:
After lunch it was our turn to paint. Everyone else did a black and white version first. I like to get straight to the good stuff…I skipped that part. As Diane approached my painting I warned her that I was breaking the rules. She said it didn’t matter as long as I was having fun.
Here I am about halfway through:
My finished painting. If you squint your eyes a LOT it kind of looks like a landscape right?
If you are in the desert area, check out Diane’s Workshop schedule: both in studio and plein air. She does offer a separate price for her to provide all the supplies if you want to try it out before making a large investment in paint and a field easel. Since we are moving I didn’t want to stock up on supplies that would just have to be trekked cross country in 2 months.
If you aren’t in the desert, see if you can find a workshop in your area. There are groups all over the place.
I think painting outside in nature is something Boo would love to do in the NC mountains. I have a mini watercolor “pocket box” set that would be perfect for quick trips.
Maybe we’ll try it out before we leave the desert.
Anyone into drawing/sketching/painting on the go?
Supplies we used for Plein Air painting:
Julian “Field” Easel – Has telescoping legs and folds up for easy carrying by the strap
Poppy Seed Oil – Medium for paints, very little needed
Natural Turpenoid – For cleaning brushes
9×12 Primed Panels – or you can use canvas as well