Painting in the mountains- day two

The following morning is bright and beautiful. I decided to start out after breakfast by painting a little vignette right on the grounds where I was staying. I noticed a little whitewashed garden shed, (which I am told used to be a chicken coop) because it had some nice light and cast shadows from a neighboring tree. The light is soft and dewy and so this is the feeling I'd be going for. One thing I've learned from trial and error is to try and think in big shapes first. It is a good idea to lay in your darkest darks and lightest lights first, to help key the rest of the painting. With this subject and the small size of my canvas, that is a relatively easy task. Here is my little canvas, measuring 10"x8".

*Tip: I pretty much never use white paint directly out of the tube. It is too stark and too cool, even if the local color actually is white. The temperature of the light and the reflected light from other elements in the picture will effect the local color. Here I mix a tiny, tiny dab of cad. yellow and cad. red in with the white ( a little goes a long way) to warm it up a bit. 

*Tip: There were other buildings behind this little "chicken coop" that I could see in the background, but the only thing that really interested me was the clothesline, so that's all I included. I don't put in everything I see, just because it's there! My highest priority is to make an interesting painting, and the other buildings in the distance on such a small canvas would have just distracted from my center of interest.

Tags: art painting landscape painting artist plein air