Tag Archives: Virginai Beach

a sketch I can use for a painting / charcoal

It was still too warm, humid and the wind was calm so the bugs were swarming me. I drenched myself in bug spray and they kept coming. I almost decided to give up but then I thought, I got the bug spray on me already I might as well see if it works. So far, I’m not itchy.

This is the second time I sketched this scene. The last time I had my 11 x 14 sketchbook that I can hold in one hand to draw, but that size makes me squish my trees too much to make them fit. This time I took my easel and drawing board with an 18 x 24 piece of charcoal paper. The larger size makes it so much easier. It gives me more sense of freedom to work larger too. I don’t know how the other plein air painters can work on their small canvases because I can’t. Oh yeah, they’re copying the pictures on their phones so the scene is small to start with. hahahah

A photographer asked me if he could take my picture and I said yes. He snapped off a dozen or so and he said he’d send them to me so if he does and if I can use them I’ll post them but I might look bad all sweaty and drenched in bug spray.

This is a better plan for something to paint in Nov. after the bugs are gone and the leaves get some color.

returning to my roots with this project

haha I don’t have any roots. I’m a tumbleweed.

Once I drove Rt. 66 from Springfield MO. to Santa Monica CA. I was in OK. and I saw these dead looking shrubberies by the side of the road, which had no traffic. I thought they fell off a truck and wondered why they didn’t pick them up since they were on the road. Then I saw so many of them I thought, these have to be tumbleweeds.

This is my plan for the next painting, the second time I sketched it, this time larger. The chalk is sand and the chalk dots are sea oats.

That’s how you start a painting in the traditional process, do a detailed drawing on the paper or canvas. When I was sketching a few people walked across the path at the top of the meadow to the right of center and I decided to try to paint a figure in to give it scale. I had already sketched in some sea oats that rise up over the path from this view. I decided to erase them when I paint and put my person walking in that spot on the path. This step is the time to plan and change plans. If I started in a rush to slap down some paint without doing the sketch then the painting wouldn’t work out as I hoped. Where would I put my person in?

That’s the only roots I have, the traditional ways of painting that I learned long ago. Some times I tumble along in the breeze trying to paint like a modern artist. This time I’m going to use paint brushes and take my time on it, not skipping any steps.