Wednesday, May 03, 2006

What does a plein air painter do on a rainy day??

Wrong End of a Rabbit, 6x8, oil linen
from life
What does a plein air painter do on a rainy day? Or after three rainy days in a row to be more exact? Well, this plein air painter is participating in a monthly project in the artwork from life forum at wetcanvas.com. Our project from May is to draw or paint animals directly from life, no photo references allowed!! This is a real challenge and one that often occurs when painting en plein air. At a farm for instance you might want to include cows, horses or sheep. In the marshes herons, egrets, ducks, geese, swans and deer are possibilities. Even in a more domestic setting a cat lazing on a front porch for example, or a passerby in a street scene walking a dog. Some painters avoid these things all together, some paint them in at home and use a reference. Both of those strategies work (I've used both!!) but there is something really wonderful for the dedicated "plein air/working directly from life" devotee about having the skill necessary to, in a few moments drop into a painting the fleeting wildlife you had the priviledge of observing. You capture that moment and place with all that much more authority and authenticity. So this month's challenge was just the thing to help hone that skill. The rabbit is my pet Rosie, she's an indoor rabbit I've had for seven years. She's a Rex for those of you who know about such things. For those who don't that means her fur is very short like velvet and she doesn't have longer guard hairs over the undercoat like most other furry critters. Yesterday I spent a while doing quick gesture drawings of Rosie, so I was prepared to paint today. The whole painting took 45. min the actual time she stayed still for me to sketch her in quickly with brush and thin paint was less than 45 seconds!! From there on in I had to work alternately between the hay and background and then quickly shift back to painting her when she was in approximatly the same position. Quite a challenging study.





5 comments:

Lisa Mikulski said...

Hi Jan, Very nice blog and some wonderful examples of your work as well. Keep posting....

Sioux said...

Jan, I love you rabbit. It is marvelous!!

hrallen said...

I rather like this painting. Interesting! hrallen

Nina Kuriloff said...

How cute!
:-)

Jan Blencowe said...

Thanks for visiting everyone...glad you all like Rosie, she definitely has the cute factor going for her!

Jan