Thursday, May 1, 2008

Utah paint-out in April

Brad painting at the Virgin River Gorge  4-3-08

Snow Canyon, St. George, UT 4/3/08

Virgin River Gorge, AZ  4/3/08

Thunderbird Ranch, UT  4/3/2008

Washington UT, looking west 4/4/2008

Washington Ut, looking east

While traveling in California, Nevada, and Utah in early April I was paying more attention to pre-painting composition studies than usual.  Brad Teare, Ken Harris and I painting together in Snow Canyon near St. George, Utah and at the Thunderbird Ranch (Maynard Dixon's home & studio ) in Mr. Carmel, UT. Deliberately painting with other painters was a first. I like painting alone but wanted to paint with someone for the critique and analysis that would happen.

I had watched a DVD about painting outdoors (in oils) with a focus on composition before the trip and I found that it made me paint differently.  I did pre-paint pencil value/composition sketches for the first time. I found I was painting much less loosely and with less confidence.  I was trying to see the scenes and capture them through the eyes of an oil painter.   By the end of the trip, I realized I should keep up the value sketches, but paint with more freedom and confidence in my watercolors.  We were only together for three days and only did two full paint sessions. It was not enough. There is a vast variety of amazingly paintable scenery in So. Utah and we plan to meet again next year and paint together longer.

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