First Foray into Plein Air

On Friday I finally found an affordable portable easel, weighing in at almost exactly four pounds.  None of the paint boxes at the art supply store were quite to my liking, but I headed over to Canadian Tire and picked up a small fishing tackle box instead.  I must have looked at a dozen tackle boxes and toolboxes.

Then I went back out to my car, got the small palette I’d just bought at the same time as the easel, took it into the store, and went through the toolbox and fishing aisles again, putting the palette into one box after another, checking to see which of them was wide enough to hold it, and still small and light enough that I wouldn’t be averse to carrying it in a pack along with a few other things.  I hope anyone who happened to be watching the security cameras clued in relatively quickly to what I was doing.

I was glad not to have too much of an audience in Nose Hill Park while I painted this yesterday afternoon.

Stand of Aspens

I brought a limited palette with me: phthalo green, burnt umber, raw sienna, cadmium yellow medium hue, vermilion hue, French ultramarine, ivory black, and titanium buff.  That’s right; no white.  Primaries, a green, a black, and earth tones.  I actually like the warmth that comes from using buff instead of white to lighten colors, but since I brought the painting home I’ve noticed that it looks different in every light, but always darker than it did while I was out painting in the sun.

Since I never used any burnt umber, I’ll leave it out next time to make room for my good friend, dioxazine violet, and probably squeeze in some white.

What’s your plein-air palette like?  A few basic colors, or lots of smaller tubes?  Do you prioritize primaries or earth tones?

I plan on doing lots more of this.  I’m going to hold off on adding paintings done en plein air to the gallery until I have a few more to include.

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One thought on “First Foray into Plein Air

  1. Before anyone comments on my “tree,” I’d like to say that there are actually several trees growing close together there.

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