Doing a Virtual Paintout seemed like a good warm up for the plein air painting season. March’s Virtual Paintout location is Vilnius, Lithuania. It was fun using Google Street View to cruise around Lithuania, where some of my ancestors are from.
I started with a watercolor sketch in my giant Moleskine A4 watercolor notebook (which is proving too large to be practical to carry with me all the time but is great for a studio journal). I had trouble with the sky and clouds so did some cloud studies (below). When I paint in watercolor I prefer juicy, wet washes but they don’t work well in sketchbooks; the paper buckles, the water pools, and I can’t get the results I want. I need to start working on real watercolor paper again or use much less fluid on my brush.
I used some no-longer-available, very sedimentary Manganese blue in the top left sky above. I was really sad when they stopped making it as it was my favorite color, but apparently it was highly toxic for the miners.
Above is a cropped version of the original Google Street View scene.