|The photo reference for "Tropical Sunset"|
I am still high from my recent trip to Kauai and was dying to do a painting from one of many pictures of glorious sunsets that I took day after day. Each sunset was different from the day before and equally spectacular! It would have been a daunting endeavor to paint a sunset scene from life, as it only lasted for about ten minutes. I didn't even bother to bring my oil painting gear on this trip.
However, I was well prepared to do some watercolor sketches. As some of you may recall, I took the opaque watercolor workshop with Rick Weaver back in December. This well-earned vacation--celebration of our 20th and 21th wedding anniversaries, and my birthday all rolled into one big treat--was a great opportunity to hone my skills at opaque watercolor.
|"Poipu Beach, Kauai" (opaque watercolor, 11" x 15")|
|The view of Poipu Beach|
Combining family vacations with plein-air painting outings is always a complicated business. One feels guilty at taking advantage of her suffering family's patience for her own pleasure. Speed is the key thing. Get in and get out within a hour. Fortunately, my husband and daughter were otherwise occupied one afternoon, so I didn't have to feel rushed. I sat in the patio of our hotel room, away from nosy onlookers, and painted the palm trees. I don't know about you, but I love these tropical trees with graceful fronds.
The time spent observing and sketching the big palm tree in the middle ground came in really handy when I painted "Tropical Sunset," whose vantage point was not far from the above view. When the sky, ocean, and dark foreground were painted to my satisfaction, I took a deep breath and painted in the tree. One shot, no messing around. Wow!