A couple of weeks ago, I painted with friends at Almaden Quicksilver County Park. We picked what was probably the foggiest morning in the South Bay. Visibility was low, humidity was high and the view we planned on painting was hidden in the mist. Cameras are deceptive, my photos from the day don’t capture the mist… Can you spot at least 4 painters in this photo? There’s a 5th in the parking lot, not in the photo, and I’m #6.
These ghostly trees were interesting to paint on paper that never dried out. It took patience to wait and add in those last dark branches, and even they weren’t on totally dry paper.
The neutrals in this next piece are done with Art Graf, which is water soluble graphite, on a wet backdrop of watercolor. With graphite, I like the kind in the tin better than the stick. A stick is great for drawing, the tin allows you to paint with a brush. The effect, I think, is like Sumi-e ink, but with the sheen and softness of graphite.
From later in the day, two more paintings, both of this view. I’ve hiked this trail countless times and never stopped to even sketch the view: the nice thing about painting at a group paintout is that the person planning and picking spots may pick something you never would, and that forces you to look at the scene with new eyes, to paint what you would have otherwise overlooked. All of which is fantastic.
In this first piece, my main interest was that bank of mist just below the mountains.
And in this second one, I’m looking at those clouds in the sky.
I like the idea of looking at a scene, deciding what I want to capture of it and then going from there: it lets me paint the very same scene, but a little bit differently each time.