Friday, November 09, 2012

Which Medium is Best for Plein Air?


'Morning Visitors'       6x8       pastel    plein air
Today was the perfect opportunity to try both oil and pastel for my plein air outing.  I chose to paint from the front porch again. I was planning to go across the street and paint from the dock but I decided the view from the porch was better. The height allowed my to see a few more layers of the marsh.

I started with the oils.  I was drawn to the reflections in the creek. It was very calm and mirror-like.  The colors of the grasses and trees at this time of year have been spectacular!  I used a limited palette of Ultramarine Blue, Cad Yellow Medium, Alizarin Crimson and White.

After I finished the oil painting I thought why not try the same scene in pastel?  After all my box of pastels was sitting on the table. So I taped a piece of Canson paper on a piece of foamcore and set it up on my easel. It was quick and easy to take the pastels out and do another painting.

This was a good exercise to see which medium worked best for plein air....so what do I think?

'November Marsh'        6x8         oil on panel
I have decided that I enjoy both of them very much .... the key is how you pack and organize your gear.  It needs to be  quick and easy to set up and get painting quickly.  For this trip I travelled with three others so we tried to limit our gear.  I packed two messenger bags, one for oils (it even fit myEasy-l easel )  and another smaller messenger bag for pastels.

So with limited equipment it was just as easy to set up and oil palette as it was to open my small box of pastels.  Some of the supplies I used for both....tape, wipes, paper towels.  Clean up is also equal. I do give oils a slight edge as being cleaner though.  I love pastels but I am not fond of dusty fingers (or gloves)

I think it will boil down to what I am in the mood for and what look I am after. After switching back and forth between oils and pastels this week I think I am going to have to bring both in my travels.  I will be doing a post with more details on both set-ups.

What is your favorite medium for plein air?

1 comment:

Adriana Guidi said...

Karen-both are gorgeous! The oranges and reflections are just beautiful!