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.  


Inger Berit Lie said...

Hi, Iggrid

Another wonderful painting.
Best, Inger

Ingrid Christensen said...

Thank you, Inger!