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Friday, June 12, 2015

Plein Air Painting When the Light is Flat

'Taos View'. 2.5 x 3.5. Pastel. Karen Margulis
Everything was perfect. The location was inspiring. The weather was cooperating. Food and modern conveniences were just a step away. I was ready to paint all day! Casa Gallina in Taos was the perfect place to unwind from the excitement of the IAPS convention. I planned to spend a few days with friends just relaxing and painting on the property.
I painted every morning. There was inspiration everywhere. Mountains, flowers, Adobe buildings, chickens! But it got hot. Very hot. After noon the light was blinding and flat. I wanted to keep painting but I needed to find some shade. Our courtyard was perfect. I decided to change gears and paint some mini pastels.

I set up my pastels on the table in the courtyard. For inspiration, I took some quick glances at photos on my camera. After reviewing the photos I painted from my memory. The two paintings in this post are minis done from the camera/ memory.

It was the perfect way to be productive and have fun during the flat mid day light!




robertsloan2art said...

That makes total sense! Noon light has little or no cast shadows and the modeling shadows wind up horizontal rather than leaning one way or the other. Not flattering. It's great to settle down somewhere comfortable to work from photos and memory.

I take photos every time I go to my favorite public garden and sometimes what I wanted to paint isn't blooming any more. Sometimes I just can't find a place to settle down and paint near the subject I wanted without blocking the walkway.

So I wind up getting lots of photos and then settle down in another area that has a smaller planting to either paint from life there or paint from the photos I just took. Memory's very fresh and I don't have to crouch long between plants trying not to crush them.

ATCs sometimes look odd when expanded larger than life but seeing them on the table is great too. You get so much into so little a space! I love the one I bought and keep it right by my painting area for inspiration.

Chris Sarcevic Verdgeline said...

very pretty!