Tilden Park

Oil painting on panel, 9″x12″

Last Sunday in my plein air oil painting class I painted this scene on this panel but it pretty much looked like dark mud so I worked on it some more today. I like to keep going with a painting until I either succeed, push it as far as it can go, get sick of it, or it just gets too late and I have to go to bed. I think tonight I hit all of the above.

I have the hardest time painting outdoors in the bright sun. Everything ends up much darker than it should be. I’m also not very good at mixing light colors in oils—possibly due to never using white in watercolor. Adding white to oil paint creates quite different color mixtures than adding more water to watercolor to let the white of the paper shine through and lighten the color.

I’m going to be plein air painting both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, and given the weather report of sunny days, I’ll continue trying to find my way painting in bright light. Tomorrow I’m going to try wearing my polarized sun glasses and see what I come up with. I’m also going to try forcing myself to make high key paintings, with most of the painting lighter than middle gray to force myself to get away from the dark mud.

Art theory, Landscape, Oil Painting, Outdoors/Landscape, Painting, Plein Air

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. I hope you have a lovely weekend – and that you got my email about Naomi’s baby. We have rain here at last.


  2. Jana! This is so wonderfully soft and inviting ….! I love the path and the fall colors! Good luck with the plein air group this w/e! I too have a ton of issues with plein air watercolor — some days the paint dries too fast, others too slow —- changing light, etc …. but it sure is a learning experience! Good luck today!


  3. Gorgeous, colors, composition, v magical!


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