Field Thumbnails

landscape_thumbnailsI started my foray into plein air painting with acrylics, and now two years later I’ve come full circle back to them. I’ve been looking for quicker ways to catch colors and light effects outdoors, since I don’t always have the time to do an oil painting and sometimes my subject will flee before I’ve even got my tripod up. I’ve been using a sort of wet-box set up to keep my acrylics from drying out and it’s been pretty convenient. I can take a lot of visual  notes in a short amount of time, and that suits me. Many a time I’ve dove into painting one thing only to find an equally tantalizing thing to draw just over my shoulder. With quick-drying paint and a thumbnail scale, I catch them both and the third thing also that I noticed while painting the second thing, and then the five things that present themselves after that. Of course, this sort of manic, look-a-squirrel sketching doesn’t lend itself to super detailed studies, but it’s more the feel I’m going for anyway.

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