Painting on location – Plein Air

Painting outside is one of the joys of summer. In the past, it was perhaps the only way to get the real feel of a scene. Other than that, the choice was to paint from memory and sketches. Nowadays, painting on location has morphed into plein air, which has come to mean painting small format pieces as works in themselves or to capture the colours and light to be used for larger in studio pieces.

Whatever the motivation, the challenges in doing work outside on site make it inhibiting for many. Equipment (weight and portability), access, weather, bugs and curious onlookers need consideration and trial and error to find out what works. Then there is the actual challenges of getting composition right, getting colours and values right, changing light conditions and the necessity for speed. Starting out, the results are underwhelming or outright failures. That said, what makes this a joy is the feeling of being immersed in the scene, all senses firing. The experience regardless of outcome is well worth the effort. In any case, you can always fix or repaint that great piece, back in studio.

My last effort, “Late Summer”, was such an experience. Sketched one morning using Procreate on an iPad, painted on another day and then finished off in the studio a few days later. The smell of the fields, the fresh air and even the couple of passersby that stopped to say hi, were all a pleasure.

Published by istvanjobst

One voice in 7 billion. Insignificant. What if we all spoke at once? Ear-splitting!! What if we all stopped to listen? Maybe, compassion.

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