Friday, November 29, 2013

Cool Painting

"Winter Morning , San Miguel de Allende"
9 x 12 in. oil on panel

I say "Cool" because it was a cool painting session - cool as in Cold! Donna, Luc and I met up at the plaza principal about 9 am. on a foggy morning last week. We knew it would clear during the morning so we chose a spot in what would be the shade of the historic Casa Allende. Well, it was cold to begin with in that damp fog and it was cold after the sun broke through and this chilly wind came up from calle Umaran at our backs. It was a cool morning indeed but all the onlookers (and there were plenty) were friendly and encouraging and we too got pretty excited about our paintings, nonetheless. I tried to warm up in the sun around the corner a couple of times but of course the light was changing and I was drawn each time quickly back into the fray ..................... once started you really can't stop, can you?  We have decided to switch to afternoons next week. It takes all morning to warm up during December and January here in the mountains of central Mexico. Of course it becomes summer again most afternoons between noon and six. That's one of the primary reasons I moved here to paint in Mexico - sort of endless summer - a plein air painters dream. (the other major reason was color) 

I completed the painting minus the people and a little detail work on site. I feel I have to give very careful consideration as to the placement of bodies in my pictures and it's enough of a challenge to hit all the hues and values correctly on location. I spend a lot of time thinking about the overall color and composition as I begin placing the first elements on the panel and I have a rough idea of where a figure or two might be helpful to the design but with the style I prefer to work in I can't see how I'll ever be able to complete a complex scene with a convincing smattering of hominids in 2 or 3 hours. But I don't fret about it much -I enjoy leisurely dropping volunteers into a scene at a later date. I like to give the characters the consideration good characters deserve. They're part B of a two part creation and possibly the hardest part. Also, I place them when part A is still a bit wet. That demands a little more decisiveness but they blend into their scene a lot better. I hope you like the result. If the air looks a little cooler than the last few dozen ones I've posted that's because it was and as I say .........we're switching to afternoons for a couple months. Stay tuned for the "Golden Hour" ..............

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