The act of painting on location offers up amazingly beautiful scenery and invigorating fresh air too. There is also that thrill of getting down to painting once you’ve chosen that wonderful view in front of you and it’s just waiting to be captured. I find I become more artistically spontaneous and less hesitant when painting out of doors. I just want to get all those colours on my canvas. I love using acrylic paints for this purpose when I am out and about. Seeing their creamy brilliant colours as I squeeze them out of their tubes onto my palette brings me joy. Acrylic paints are amazing really. You can use them on any pre gessoed surface; canvasses and canvas boards, wooden boards or watercolour paper. The paint dries quickly and cleans up easily. You can make corrections to your painting because the paint is opaque and hides what is underneath. You can achieve texture too with the thick paint.
As you can see at left, the beginnings of my landscape ‘Beside the Eramosa River, Rockwood On.’ is starting to form. I started by covering my gessoed canvas with a very dark grey almost black background. I planned on letting that background colour show as outlines around the elements of my painting. The lighting that day was bright but also quite hazy so I was sure to alter my colouring of the water in my painting to make it look deeper and more vibrant. I didn’t want that river to appear washed out as it was appearing to my naked eye. The defused lighting also was affecting the shadows or lack there of but I knew how to fix that.
I had time restraints that day so I had to pack up before I was finished and head back to my studio. But that was okay with me. I had taken lots of reference photos of the area to work from so completing the painting in my studio would go fine. I am lucky to have a terrific work space with all my materials at the ready, a huge drafting art table and lots of light to work in. I was recently gifted a fabulous new drafting chair so now I never want to leave my art table. Once settled in my studio my painting continued to take shape. Using my ‘artistic license’ I chose to change things up a bit from the original setting. I wanted the sky to be more blue and the water to appear more choppy. The trees were depicted pretty accurately from what I saw that day but I added some shadows streaking across their branches and trunks. I love the play of horizontal river waves juxtaposed against the verticals of the trees. ‘Beside The Eramosa River’ was finished once I added the sun dappled ground cover. I am delighted with the final results, those acrylic paints brought such brilliant colours and contrasts to my painting.