I've made it no secret that I'm not keen on observational drawing and painting--and as a result, not particularly good at it either. I admire the artists who do it, and get lots of inspiration from them. Even though I much prefer drawing what's in my head, I also know that it's good practice to match values and paint from life, healthy to get out of the studio once in awhile, and a pretty relaxing good time as well.
Clay Brooks http://www.clayillustration.com/ of the Denver Illustration Studio sets up some of the plein-air expeditions https: //www.facebook.com/groups/376974635768041/ This one, at the rail yard, was a great opportunity. Painting outside is more fun with a group, and I learn something every time.
We headed out around 8:30 am in order to try to beat the heat.
This was our chosen location.
While we were painting, a photographer came by to visit.
David worked with oils.
Clay worked with watercolor...
...and sketched this!
Didn't see David's finished work, but both of their paintings were incredible!
Trains were a new experience for me, as up to this point I'd never painted one! Relocation of the bright orange engines seemed imminent though, so I chose some distant, (un-hitched) boxcars for my subject and
drew a quick sketch, trying to organize the mass of clutter in my chosen view.
I'd toned my paper the night before, which was a mistake; it proved too dark for the bright, hot day. Stubborn, I forged ahead, laying in values with sepia ink,
then pulled out the watercolors.
I deleted the Denver skyline above the bridge, and shifted other stuff. Man did I get lost--I was making the bright Colorado scene look gritty and dirty, more like foggy London Town.
I look to be painting machinery instead of scenery, but my boxcars were beyond this yellow fellow.
By this point, it was nearly noon and getting hot, so I stopped slopping about and headed home. I like some parts of this study. It gave me an idea for an in-studio, in-brain concept, and I'll post that later if it develops.
For now though, thanks for the visit!