Friday, February 17, 2012

"Tropical Sunset" (oil on linen; 9" x 12") sold

"Tropical Sunset"

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!

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