Trying Something New for A Change.

Garlands Nursery

Garlands Nursery, pastel on LaCarte sanded paper

This past Wednesday was the first outing of the local plein air group. Traditionally the first venue we paint is Garlands, the local, quintessential nursery. It has everything any green or purple thumb could ever imagine. It also has many places to duck undercover in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Forecast: warm and sunny
But this week the weatherman predicted clear sky and mid 70s. I decided before packing to go that morning, that I would try using some orange La Carte sanded paper, a real departure from my usual Amperdand Pastelbord. My thinking was that the orange would work to my advantage in setting the stage for a sunny day painting, and also work as a complement to all the green I was bound to encounter. And I admit, “I’m trying something new.” could also be my excuse in the event of a really lousy painting.

Warm and cool
My approach was to depict the light of a sunny day, by starting with warm colors in the sunlit masses and cool colors in the shadows, regardless of the local color. I gradually brought the masses to their real color but always letting some of my first marks show through. I also left the edges loose so that the orange paper would unify the painting and add shimmer to the piece.

The end result was okay! I had a lot of fun getting this “to work.” I’d try it again, actually. But perhaps I should invest in a lot of blue La Carte to use on those Oregon gray days we so often encounter! Have you stepped out of your comfort zone lately and tried something different for a change?

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