Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Daily Painting Practice in Maine - Belfast Tug Boat Plein air

My first day as Northern Chapter of the Plein Air Painters of Maine

My first day I choose something close to home.  Belfast, Maine has a busy harbor mostly filled with pleasure boats. A few lobster boats start off  and there is the  Front Street Ship Yard. It works on large yachts, sailboats and tug boats.

There are three tug boats docked in Belfast. I don't know if it is permanent or temporary. The day I picked to plein air paint down at the dock there was only one tug left in the water.

Belfast Tug

It was a beautiful day,  lobster boats were busy loading and fueling up. I was standing right next to the fuel pumps.

just beginning

I was watching a video on YouTube by (Marc Dalessio). He makes a comment about getting the the  sky color first and compressing values. That's what I think I remembered when I started painting.

first get the sky

I need to watch that video again because the points he makes about values are important to remember...but I forget what they are.

Red and green compliments

 I have started trying to build the habit of making color notes early in the painting process. Small spots of color I want as a reminder for me later in the studio.

crunching the value scale

Compressing  the values, I think that is the term I wanted to remember. We can't match the value of light exactly with our pigments so compress the values to create the illusion.

I mentioned before about the trouble with painting the sea and the extreme tidal changes in Maine. Here is a great example of what I ran up against. The distant boats and the tug are now much lower in the water compared to the horizon and the buildings on land.

Done for the day

The sun,  of course, also changes. By the time I got this far the light shifted to the left side of the boat. When I started it  was lighting the center.

Back in the studio

Here's where I'm at... the most dangerous part of painting. How much do I do to the painting in order to finish... scary stuff huh? Steven King couldn't write anything scarier than a plein air painter in Maine facing the choices at the end .


Judy P. said...

Good painting, I think you are almost done! When I paint I run through all the advice on values, but I always get confused. They say the biggest problem for beginners is they don't use the full range of values, so everything is one-tone; they should 'paint it like you see it'. But like you say you can't achieve the real light effect, so you compress down to try to keep the value differences. Other advice is to keep the values close together
, not to use such a wide range. All that is running in my mind as I chase the light, and make some really white, chalky paintings!

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