Monday, May 5, 2014

How I find my spot: ending up back to the kill, Batten, that is.....

57  F mostly cloudy, bits of sun.
Today's money shot!

About "how I find my spots", suffice to say that I drive around, in a direction on a hunch: you see that blue spot in the sky lower left, i'm heading there, and it happens to be one of my favorite spots!

Here is the path down from the road, hadn't seen it since I came in the snow!

Here is the path, mostly used by fishermen, I was the only one here today. I generally part the car, look around, if it's a paint out the back place, easy, if it's a hike in place I pack up so I can do it in one carry, nice!

Conveniently the shore was trampled down by fishermen, so I didn't have to. Nice view, even in the clouds. I decided I wanted the tree on the left, it gave me some contrast and some depth, I didn't want to show that it had been undermined by the river, it would be too much detail and not the subject of the light through the bridge, and on the water.

Now that I found the general view, I fine-tune where it will fit on my panel, so I set up my easel and line up the scene next to it, I use a brush handle to measure an imaginary rectangle whose  right edge is shared with the panels left edge. At the same time I'm trying to "fix" where my eye is going to be: my viewpoint.

My pallet, I'll leave it there if you have any questions, fire away!

By the time I start actually putting paint on the canvas, I've inverted at least an hour, it's a crucial hour and the painting couldn't happen without it.

I'm using my mixed black to sketch almost like charcoal.

Here we go. I'm squinting a lot, no need for any i-phone apps, an artist is his eyes, use them!

I had to move a few things before I was finished with most of the measuring, see this blog post about measuring:

I put the green in last, and they got crowded out.

Again the drawing in this got a bit ugly, I wished I had placed my view point a little further back....

Where I ended up.

The sun flirted with me today, but it was a tease, a few moments don't a whole session make, but it was nice and I was able to use for me of that light!

Sight-size photo.

End pallet.

Across the river, this is the factory that at one time was owned by Susan B Anthony's Father.

This was right behind me, it's a bridge for the rail over a tributary, cool!


  1. Great painting Matt! Thanks for the tips really helps. I consider you like my Plain Air sponsor.

  2. Thank you Iwan, I'm happy you like the blog and am honored to have that title!

  3. Well done!
    Could the old fabric be another interesting spot perhaps?

  4. All in one session and it's not muddy. Beautiful painting. I really appreciate your dialogue. Were you standing in the river?

  5. Thanks Jenny! I'm never sure if it's running dialogue, or if I'm writing to new readers all the time, but no there is a shore line change and I'm high and dry!