09 November 2011

Vacation photos and studies

Here is a photo of the East Beach Café, in Santa Barbara on the beach, and below are three small, rather quick paintings done there.

This trip was a new experience for me on a couple of fronts, and I was somewhat frustrated with both my productivity and the quality of my work. First, I have never painted "en plein air" before--my usual spot is my patio table, and my usual subject is either a made-up one from research photos, or something sitting still on the table in front of me, so painting things that don't stay still or constant was different.

Second, I am used to painting large (11x15, 18x24), but when you're working outdoors on the fly AND lugging all your materials and tools with you all day, it pays to downsize; so I bought myself my first small watercolor sketchbook and tried to scale everything to fit it, with mixed success. A couple of days in, I went to the local art store and bought a smaller paintbrush with a good tip, which helped a lot!

The wires on the top of the umbrellas are meant to keep seagulls from perching on them and messing them up.

As you can see, we had a chilly, stormy day for our beach scenes.

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