Plein air painting remains one of my favorite things to do and this painting was done as a demonstration at one of my plein air workshops. The white picket fence was surrounded by flowers and other plants and the colors and sunlight were intoxicating. I used my view finder to narrow the subject matter down to this composition, did a simple contour drawing, and began painting. The fence post with the roses intrigued me the most so I started there. With so much green I often add more flowers than I actually see. With the roses carefully painted next to the fence post I was able to suggest other flowers with simple bits of color. I enjoy this more than painting every flower with equal importance. Capturing sunlight is one of the reasons I love plein air painting and the cast shadows on the white picket fence gives this painting a sense of sunlight. When artists tell me that they have trouble with all that green in summer landscapes it is usually because they need a better understanding of color mixing and color temperature. The more greens you can create the more fun you have painting outside in the summer. In this case, I used different combinations of olive green, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow, transparent yellow, cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, and perylene green. In a few places I put blue next to yellow on the paper and allowed the viewers eye to mix them into green. This location was one block from the workshop headquarters and I am convinced that interesting subject matter can be found anywhere if you take the time to really look. If you are trying plein air painting for the first time be sure and choose some subjects close to home and Happy Painting. Just a reminder, if you enjoy these email art lessons it is important to always open them or the system will automatically drop you from the list.
“It was because of flowers that I became a painter." Claude Monet
Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton