It was a beautiful sunny day the other day so I thought I’d go outside to paint. The sun was shining, the herbs were growing, all was very ideal.
I set up my painting area sitting on a chair with all my paints and turps and brushes in the doorway and easy to reach. I didn’t use an easel but taped some oil paper to a board and propped it on my knee.
How my set up worked and how it didn’t
There were advantages and disadvantages to this set up:
- My painting area was quick to set up
- Painting outside on a beautiful sunny day was just lovely, I could play my music and enjoy the sunshine
- It was very good practice, as the subject was tricky, I don’t paint plants very often so there was much complexity to get my head around and many problems to solve
- I had blocked my entrance to the house, so when I needed to take breaks I had to clamber back over all of my equipment
- The sun was in my eyes as I didn’t think through my position well enough
- As I didn’t use an easel, the light was glaring off my painting
- In the heat, my oil paint melted on the palette and on my painting, so I had to stop painting
Overall it was a good exercise, and useful for finding out practical difficulties that would be more of a hindrance if I was out painting in the countryside.
How I painted the pots
Here were the steps I took to paint the pots:
- Taped down my oil painting paper and primed it with a mix of turps, linseed oil and burnt sienna
- Found my spot and used my hands to frame off a chunk of the scene so II knew vaguely how to position the pots on the paper (it’s much harder to compose your scene when you’re outside painting)
- Drew out the outlines with my paintbrush
- Filled in the dark tones and the mid tones.
- Built up the colour area by area
I think I’ll try painting in the garden again soon, but will probably use an easel, choose a shady spot with no glare and pick a simpler subject.