The edge of the woodsPosted: October 11, 2020
The light was really beautiful this morning in Angell Woods, and as I approached an area of the path bordered by houses, this grouping of buildings caught my eye. The pattern of light was so sharp as it cut through a clearing, that I quickly snapped a photo to use as a reference in studio.
I came home and tried out a technique I watched in a CSPWC demo by Poppy Balser the other night. Poppy is a Nova Scotia painter whose work I have admired for a very long time. Her technique for working in values is a little different than mine. Her value paintings are full size, meaning that they are on the same size paper as the sheet she is intending to paint on in colour, whereas my value sketches are always smaller than my paintings, more like postcard size. And instead of working in a single pigment like Payne’s Grey, she makes a gorgeous mix of Daniel Smith Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna and paints with that.
Why work in values first? In watercolour, this really lets you figure out where the lights and darks in a painting will be. I have been using this planning method for many years, but it was nice to hear someone else think their way through a painting, and see them paint in a slightly different way than what I do. I decided to try her method in studio today, so I worked on a 10″ x 14″ sheet of Arches CP 140 lb. Tomorrow I will paint this in colour and we will see how that turns out.
As for the demo series, most of the free events the CSPWC is offering on Zoom in October sold out quickly, but there are still tickets for a panel discussion about plein air painting that I think will be really interesting.