Landscape Oil Painting Outdoors/Landscape Painting Plein Air

View from China Camp (Ick I hate this painting!)

View from China Camp, Plein Air, Oils, 12x9"
View from China Camp, Plein Air, Oils, 12x9"

The weather on Sunday was absolutely perfect and although I really wanted to stay home and start a large studio painting, I couldn’t resist the chance for another summery plein air painting opportunity before the weather changes. We met at China Camp again for an all day paintout and barbeque but I was only there for the afternoon.

[I started several times to describe the day and the scene, with children playing in the sand, catamarans being launched, the waspy buzzing thingees (yellow jackets?) that tried to share my lunch, how tired I was, etc., but decided it was too boring…]

So I’ll just say a bit about the painting and call it a night: After hunting for a painting spot I realized that what really interested me was the sky and the distant hills and the sparkle on the water. After doing a couple thumbnails to try to fit all of that into the scene, I sketched out the big shapes on the canvas.

Then I decided to just start at the top and paint my way down like I was icing a cake, trying to capture the right colors in relation to each other as I went. Here’s a picture Sue took at China Camp when I was 3/4 done:

In progress shot at China Camp
In progress at China Camp

And here’s the painting as finished plein air:

China Camp as finished on site
China Camp as finished on site

After I got home and had dinner, I looked at it again and thought the water looked more like a meadow and not like what I’d seen. Even though I was really exhausted, I decided to try to fix the water, working on it for about 2 hours, painting and scraping it off, over and over. I must have gone through the equivalent of a tube of paint! Finally I wiped the water portion off completely and went to bed (which is what I should have done in the first place, since I was too tired to think clearly about what I was doing).

Tonight, working from memory only, I tried doing the water again and am satisfied enough to move on.