Saturday, January 10, 2009

Short Plein Air Demo from Appalachian State University by Bernie Rosage Jr.

There's a small park in the center of campus at Appalachian State University (ASU) in Boone, North Carolina that is one of my favorite spots to paint en plein aire. My wife dropped me off with easel and painting gear in hand buying me two hours time while she took the kids to the library. The weather was clear and warm for Boone in late December... around 55 degrees... perfect painting weather!
I positioned myself along a walking path in the park with a great view of the campus bell tower... my focal point.

I met many nice folks walking and jogging along the path... it's a wonder I finished the painting before my wife returned with the numerous conversations I had. Knowing the short time frame I had to work with I had to do some mental editing and only included the
elements necessary to make the piece work compositionally.

Stage 1... First I sketched a "rule of thirds" grid to help position the focal point on my panel. I then began to block in the important shapes with burnt sienna and ultra marine thinned with odorless mineral spirits.
Stage 2... I began to block in with more opaque paint defining the shapes and values more. I mixed Liquin Impasto Gel with all my pigment mixtures to speed drying times knowing I would be transporting this one back to the coast in a Honda CRV packed to it's gills with luggage, kids, and two cats.

Stage 3... I began working in some detail. Note my editing consisted of leaving out a few trees and the gazebo. Often times you know when something in a painting just isn't working... that's how it was with the evergreen tree on the left for me. My evergreen looked more like a sycamore giving half the painting a visual tension with the bare tree on the right... it was as if I had two seasons (summer and winter) within one painting.

Stage 4... With that said... the best thing to do was wipe it out... I could have licked it to death trying to fix it but I learned sometime back it is better for me to wipe it clean and start fresh. Many times the plein air painter has to wipe his whole panel clean... we call that a "scrapper".
Stage 5... Adding more detail and refining areas. My palette for this painting consisted of cad lemon yellow, cad yellow medium, yellow ocher, terra rosa, burnt sienna, alizarin crimson, viridian, cerulean blue, ultra marine blue, and titanium white.
Stage 6.... The Finished work... just in time... my wife showed up just as I was signing it.
Click on image to see a larger view...
"ASU Bell Tower"... 8x6" Oil on Panel, alla prima en plein aire, 12-30-2008.
This original oil painting by American Artist, Bernie Rosage Jr. is available for purchase... email Bernie with the title in the subject line... click HERE... for price and details...

Packing up and looking forward to the next plein air adventure... Hope you enjoyed this short demo.... Happy New Year!
Here's another plein air demo I did in 2005 in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains that you may glean some info from: Impressionistic Demo by Bernie Rosage Jr.

1 comment:

Sandra Bonner Babb said...

I love those pinks! I understand the excitement of painting that place. I tried painting the bell tower at LSU last year. It was rather challenging and you did a great job.
Sandra Babb