Sunday, July 15, 2012

Painting People Outdoors

The Painter
12 x 9
Back in the spring I painted out with a couple of friends in my favourite local park.  When we set up at a spot that I've painted many times, I thought it might be more fun to paint my companions than the same little tributary.  Dale Kirschenman modelled for this while painting a quick sketch of the scene.

I struggled to separate his earth-toned, middle-value jacket from the surrounding earth-toned, middle-value landscape - a bit like trying to paint a camo-clad figure in the woods - and finally succeeded by making the shadows on his back a warm blue (touched with red) and making the water next to this a cool (green-toned) blue.  Leaving some of the brown underpainting to delineate his form also helped sort that area out.  

There was much more land around him in the actual set up: a piece of the bank jutted out over his head on the left, but I found that it made him feel enclosed and oppressed when I painted it in and it was just too busy.  By removing it, I could develop the reflections, incorporating interesting, abstract shapes and textures, and still keep a sense of open, airy lightness.  This detail shows it better than I can tell it.
There's a lot of palette knife work in this one!

It was a challenge to capture a figure in the landscape, but it was worth the work.  The painting reminds me not only of the place, but also of the company and conversations of that good day.  

2 comments:

Inger Berit Lie said...

Hi, Iggrid

Another wonderful painting.
Best, Inger

Ingrid Christensen said...

Thank you, Inger!