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scottb
06-04-2001, 10:46 AM
Larry - great lesson! BTW, something I've been meaning to ask you. Do you have someone else snap your photos while you paint, or do you use a timer on your camera?

Good stuff!

Cheers.
Scott

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B. Scott Burkett
Founder, WetCanvas!
http://www.scottburkett.com

"Old tankers never die, they just lose track..."

LarrySeiler
06-04-2001, 02:59 PM
ahahaha....wonderin' when someone would get around to asking that one, Scott!

I use a self-timer. Very resourceful, huh!
Then delete and reshoot when I don't like it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

Larry

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The "Artsmentor"
http://www.artsmentor.org

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!" Edgar Degas

LDianeJohnson
06-07-2001, 10:53 AM
Hi Larry,

Thanks for taking us into the country with you on this outing. Wonderful lesson and painting session!

You make the experience fun and help break the intimidation of choosing/viewing the subject also encouraging us to dig-in and paint the scene!

Diane

LarrySeiler
06-07-2001, 11:26 AM
Coming from you Diane, I take that as high compliment! Thanks much!

I have to admit that I'm preaching to the choir when I do such, namely to myself. Even I need to reassure myself at times that the new rules I'm attempting to engage and master will result in a product as worthy to be considered skillful as my long labored in-studio pieces. I fall upon logic and reasoning in what little options nature is willing to give me, that spontaneity and the "ah-Hah!" are as difficult an objective in a plein air to nail down....as objectives the element of endless time in a studio offer.

One thing you'll note in this particular lesson is how shaded I was. The scenery is awesome here...and many painting opportunities, but we do not have the big sky and mountains protruding above the tree line to break horizontals with a strong vertical force. Its hard in particular where I work and live presently to find spaces that open up unless I drive further south where agriculture has over many years rearranged the lay of the land.

One of the major differences for me...is that I do not really have the option to wait for the ideal same conditions to go back to that spot with a larger in-works canvas to produce a large plein air....such as artists do in the big sky western states.

Between our partial cloudy tendencies, and big trees...the sun is incredibly elusive. It makes for some unique challenges. I could paint at the same spot nearly everyday, and almost have a different painting each time.

Western Wisconsin opens up more, and the rolling hills are more a welcome presence. It simply means I got to get out and travel around a bit more. But, for now...I'm the only plein'airist doing what I'm doing that I know of in this part of the country so as far as galleries are concerned I've got to be careful I don't tire too soon of what I'm doing. It may prove to be a key ingredient in any future success I have. Take care,

Larry

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The "Artsmentor"
http://www.artsmentor.org

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!" Edgar Degas

LDianeJohnson
06-08-2001, 02:13 PM
Thanks for your reply Larry. Your comment about the shade brings up a good question. How do you deal with being under the cool shade of a tree painting a scene...in terms of how different it may look when you pull it into the light to view. How do you compensate for the cool light where you work compared to a sunny scene being rendered?

Most artists try to find some shade while working and many deal with the color shifting in different ways. I have not found it to be a problem. But some beginning painters here may wish to be aware of it.

I'm the only plein'airist doing what I'm doing that I know of in this part of the country so as far as galleries are concerned I've got to be careful I don't tire too soon of what I'm doing. It may prove to be a key ingredient in any future success I have.

This is great! To become "known" in your locale for plein air would be terrific. I know what you mean about not "tiring" too soon. It is so exciting and challenging to paint this way, and I hope the excitement will last for a long time to come.

And you are right, it is hard to go back to a place even the next day in the same relative weather circumstances. Everything is so dynamic that even the leaves and atmospherics can change in one day.

Well keep having fun while the "sun shines"!!

Diane

LarrySeiler
06-08-2001, 03:50 PM
Hhhmmm...okay Diane, I'll bite....may start a good discussion.

I surely think having a gazillion paintings under your belt helps, not to mention the instincts you work from that help override some obstacles at time.

For one...my painting was in shade...so was my palette. So, I was getting a relative level playing field between what happened on the palette to what took place on the paint panel. In fact, it may actually be easier to find emphasizing brilliant warm color because you may tend to over react in the shade to match up what you see of that in direct light...so you beef up what happens on the palette to strike you more vividly.

since pigment is a poor substitute really for actual light, the over reaction perhaps plays to your benefit.

I have found something of the same thing happening in unnatural light for that matter.

For example, there is a great deal of talk about setting up natural light, special bulbs, etc; yet...I have painted under flourescent tube lights, (and do much art in the general public highschool art classroom without much choice, under the same lights). I figure, the "look" of the color and painting is relative. Some talk as though the color you are mixing isn't the same as what is going onto the canvas, but under the same bathing light, it is. It works out because the principles of color mixing as complementaries carries thru.

What I will say though, is that I find the results of a painting painted (at least for me) in flourescent light that much more dazzling in natural light.

Now...if you were mixing your paint under a flourescent light, but were applying it on a panel in natural light...this would change the whole ballgame. There would be incongruencies too difficult to work thru.

Many plein air painters work under an umbrella that diffuses light evenly and shades the work and painter.

I actually think it is hard to judge a painting in bright light. I think the eye's pupil's small dialation from glare makes judgments very difficult.

There are moments in the out of doors where I have some problems, as I don't as yet use an umbrella. When I did my Armstrong Creek scene, for example...I turned my easel to get a good photo of the progression of the work...and the sunlight was intense. Too intense to judge the relationships while painting.

I was painting looking directly into the sun, so when the easel more faced the subject, there was too harsh a shadow.... likewise making it difficult to judge.

I compromised by turning the easel perpendicular to the light.

Imagine what it may have been like to have painted indoors for the painters of the Renaissance and years to follow. We see the limited palette, the warm siennas and umbers, etc., and I wonder how much of that was style...how much was working under limiting light.

Then...the Impressionists took it out of doors, and saw colors that spoke against much of what Renaissance classical painters "assumed" about color. It was revolutionary.

I guess an even indirect diffused lighting is best...and for the most part, that is the kind of light filtering thru windows and bouncing around the interior of a home. This lighting is where a painting is likely to be displayed...so it should appear close to what the artist intended.

For me...the eyes seeing color accurately in the subject is most important, and somehow I've learned to balance representation relative to that.

Imagine this one. Imagine setting up outdoors at night, over looking a city glowing...for example looking down on LasVegas, Nevada. Then...imagine turning on momentarily a floodlight to see your easel and panel clearly...take a few strokes, then turn the light off and stare intently at the city again. How wierd would that be!

Larry

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Larry Seiler <b>NAPPAP</b>
The "Artsmentor"
http://www.artsmentor.org

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!" Edgar Degas

sandge
03-31-2002, 08:07 AM
Great lesson - thanks, Larry! :D

I love the detail showing the build up of paint. Yum! :)