The sandbox is for random thoughts about marketing, communications and design...
Let's face it, plein air painting is a pain in the butt. You have to schlep your materials on foot for what can be long stretches of uneven terrain. There may not be a bathroom. You can get rained on or sunburned. Wind can topple your easel and break your pastels. Curious bystanders may disturb you... So why do it? I've often wondered this myself and I think I'm beginning to understand. I just don't feel the same way about a scene when looking at it in a photo as I did when I was there. Painting in plein air helps capture the feeling of being there. The human eye can see much more detail than can be captured in a typical photo, especially in low light and shadow areas. Plein air also requires you to work quickly, which I find helps me be more spontaneous and expressive in my work. When you're out in the field, you can use a viewfinder to quickly find your composition and expedite your sketch process. Dakota pastels sells a nice one. Always take photos to help remind you of the scene if you want to keep working on it in the studio. Video can be helpful to see the movement pattern of water.
I'm a self-taught pastel artist. What I mean by that is that we didn't use pastels in college. I started using them with techniques I picked up in books, magazines and YouTube. That said, it was a real treat to get to work alongside Steve Hill, a master pastellist in northern Washington State. Here's clip from Day three of the workshop:
Mount Baker: the completed demo painting.
Here's a little practice painting I did a couple of weeks after the workshop.
Below are my take-aways from the workshop experience:
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