Friday, July 2, 2010

Logistics: Plein air notes from a boat in Alaska

Not only do I need to decide the subject for my painting, I have to figure out where I can stand on the boat to see it well enough to paint it! Though cloudy, it wasn't rainy in the morning and the water in Santa Anna Inlet were mirror-smooth. This was my subject (looking out toward Seward Passage) and I could see it very well from the cockpit (a small open deck at the back of the boat).The inflatable kayak had to be moved so that I could get my easel in place. A tight fit!

Watercolor underpainting to block in the big shapes and attempt to get some of the values in there. As I painted, the boat shifted and my subject moved about 30 degrees.

While not wildly successful, I can always find something of the day in my plein air paintings. Something I got just right. In this one, it was the way the water and the sky worked together. By the time I finished, my subject was only visible by looking over my left shoulder.

Any day painting is a good day!


SamArtDog said...

What an amazing place that is! Still as a held breath. Hard to believe the water is that smooth. Not a tide, not a puff of air, no fish jumping, no bugs???

Don't forget to post this painting. It looks divine.

Pam Holnback said...

I know the boat moving and view changing feel! Love the post and the piece.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Thanks for the comments. We have heard horror stories about the mosquitoes in Alaska but so far haven't had trouble.

The rain is getting to me, though. Today's another wet one, so I won't be outside with my pastels. Rats.