First plein air painting

This is my very first, ever plein air painting. Man does it need work. Very little to like about it and a lot to see that needs improvement. This was done at Lake Mead, near Las Vegas.

One of the problems I ran into was not getting there with enough time to work on this painting. I had less than an hour to really do anything before it got too dark.

Also, I took some W&N water soluble paints, something I’ve never used before and to tell the truth, I didn’t really care for them. They didn’t cover like I thought they would, but this may also be due to the brushes and the support.

I tried to do this painting on a gessoed art panel and the brushes were some brand new synthetics. The peint just didn’t go on like I wanted it to. I did use some W&N water miscible medium to try to get the paint to flow, but it just wouldn’t do what I wanted.

So, I am going back out tomorrow, this time I will get there a couple of hours earlier. I will use regular oils and I am going to use some Centurion linen panels. I will stop by Dick Blick during the day to see what I can spend my money on in terms of brushes.

Obviously, this being my first plein air painting I wasn’t expecting to set the world on fire. And I think I learned more today about painting that I have in the last year, mostly things that need to change to work out better.

I am considering a plein air workshop down in Sedona in about three weeks.  That would four days of outdoor painting and probably five or six paintings in that time, with the teacher breathing down my neck.  That would probably help my plein air painting a great deal.

Oh, and sorry for the quality of the photo, but I forgot my camera (another mistake) so I had to make do with my cell phone.  Of course, as bad as that painting is a bad photo can’t make it look any worse.

8×10 in water miscible oil on wood panel.

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2 Responses to First plein air painting

  1. Hi Dave, Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. You have a great looking blog– but I think I'm going to need special glasses to read the tiny print. haha! Also, I've tried W&N water soluable oils, and didn't like them either. I prefer oils. Enjoy your workshop in Sedona– what a beautiful place!


  2. Dave Casey says:

    Thanks Linda. I guess I'll have to look into the size of the type because I already have it set to +2 and it's pretty big on my monitor. Of course, I have a 21″ monitor, so that may have something to do with it. 🙂


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