Plein Air is Purely Plain Fun!

Somes You Just Get Lucky!Sometimes, if you are really, really lucky, everything goes your way. On this day, our last in Colorado, the weather, the river, all was in perfect alignment. I don’t believe this day counts against my allotted number. Like a day fishing, this one just doesn’t count against me. It is just too perfect! Right beside a beautiful park and behind an amazing library, is this little cold mountain creek running into the Yampa River.

Definitely, this is the place for my final painting on this trip.

With a bit of raw umber, I sketch in the trees and the edge of the water.

Ultramarine blue, burnt umber and burnt sienna defines the hills and the river. I’m not trying to get technical, I just want some color and shapes in here. I don’t need the commercial buildings in the background, so will just paint undergrowth where the buildings are intruding.

Hikers walk by and want to visit. Fine with me! While I’m talking, I begin to add some rocks in the foreground. It’s still fairly loose, but I just need to get the main shapes in before I try the detail work.

This is way more fun than it ought to be! No bugs, no wind to dry my paints, just a beautiful day for doing what I’ve always longed to do.

Mixing some Cadmium Yellow Medium with the Ultramarine Blue and a bit of Hooker’s Green, I scrub some leaves and underbrush in, and try to add the shadows and some highlights on the water. I stop frequently to look at the water to see where the darks should be darker and the light values lighter.

It’s time to bring up the light on the rocks and add more foliage to the trees.

Adding Burnt Sienna and Raw Sienna to the water really adds life to the painting. I like the rock in the right foreground – it invites me to sit upon it (could I climb down the steep banks!).

By adding more yellow green to the foliage, deepening the shadows and adding more light to the rocks, I think I’m ready to call this one finished. Just another beautiful day in Paradise!

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One Response to “Plein Air is Purely Plain Fun!”

  1. i’m in complete agreement-and i have Her ear!- this day does not count!!! you are rockin’, girl.

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