Plein air gouache on watercolor paper after adjusting in studio, 9x12 inches
Plein air gouache on watercolor paper after adjusting in studio, 9×12 inches

I had an awesome first day painting plein air in five years, inspired by a guy I saw painting the same tree the day before when I was on a hike at Albany Bulb (see last photo below).

My too dark painting in the sun and my subject tree
My too dark painting in the sun and my subject tree

Despite typical glitches there was some bonus fun, like the caricature sketch below of me, my tree and my dog, drawn by a funny, toothless guy from London who hung out nearby while I painted for a while. Then a dance troupe showed up to practice, led by a woman who annoyingly ended every sentence with a question mark. They were there to plan their performance for an upcoming festival at Albany Bulb (a former dump and now a rustic park by the SF Bay.)

Caricature of me, my dog and my tree by guy at park.
Caricature of me, my dog and my tree by guy at park.

Some of the glitches:

  • carrying a way too heavy backpack with easel and supplies when I could have just brought a stool and painted on my lap (a wheeled cart wouldn’t have worked to hike in a mile on rutted trails);
  • finding my palette a total mess because all the wet paint I added before leaving leaked into the others;
  • painting in the sun instead of putting up the umbrella I CARRIED with me so the initial painting came out way too dark due to my eyes reacting to the bright light.
he painter I saw in the same spot the day before, with tree from the other side.
The painter I saw in the same spot the day before, with tree from the other side.
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