Sunday, May 17, 2015

Plein Air, watercolor, pen and ink


I am trying to push myself to do more Plein Air work, or painting and drawing from direct field observation. Don't get me wrong I love being outside, but I prefer to be moving, going from point A to point B, listening and observing and occasionally stopping to make a photograph or to try and ID a bird or flower. I don't really care for sitting in one spot waiting for the bugs to find me and attack. But I can't draw or paint while on the move so I am trying to push myself into sitting and doing either at least a couple of times a week.

The above is this past weeks plein air watercolor painting. I was at Borderland State Park in Easton trying to paint the area by the outflow stream for the ponds. When I finished it, I though, ugh, this is terrible, but looking at it now I still find it pretty amateur but the tree isn't too bad, at least it is better than a lot of trees I  have painted in the past and I rather like the greens on the distant shore.

I really need to spend more time painting with watercolor as doing the paintings is the only way to get good at using watercolors. It can just be so fussy that sometimes I don't have the patience for it. But I sometimes need to add color to my pen and ink drawings and watercolor is the best method so I must just keep at it.


I also got in a trip into Boston this week and instead of heading into the Public Gardens I headed over to Quincy Market and then on to Columbus Park over by North Wharf on the waterfront. They have 3 of these trellises set up with wisteria vines climbing up and over. I was hoping the flowers would be in bloom and putting on a show. I was a bit disappointed as while the flowers were just starting to bloom they had pruned the vines so heavily last fall that there isn't going to be much of a show.

Anyway I sat for a while on a bench, had some lunch and then did a pencil drawing of one of the trellises. After finishing the drawing I added a bit of pen work to help shade and define features of the structures. I think I need to work on my buildings and structures.


Above is another of my pen and ink doodles with all of my technical pens. Using the larger tipped pens means that I put in dark areas as that is what they are best at. I sort of like this and think I may be using these designs for something else, Will just have to wait and see what develops.


Photographed at Borderland the same day I did the plein air painting, it isn't exactly the same view though I was sitting not too far away. I have photographed this view often as it is a favorite of mine, so here it is with spring greens in the background also with a blue sky and some clouds, looks like a perfect spring day, which it was.


I love Jack in the Pulpits, they aren't flowers that scream "HERE I AM, LOOK AT ME" esp. as they are often totally green as this one was. But their elaborate shape with the hood hiding the spadix below is so wonderfully elaborate you just have to admire them. I photographed this one at North River, a MA Audubon sanctuary in Marshfield, MA. I had been on a trip to World's End in Hingham to look for Juniper Hairstreaks (a small butterfly) and decided to go down route 3a and visit North River before going home. I was rewarded by being able to photograph and see quite a few Jack in Pulpit plants and flowers.

That is it for today, per usual comments are welcome, and if you are curious I place a photo of the Juniper I saw on my facebook page, link at the bottom of the blog page.