Welcome to the blog site of fine artist Julinya Vidigal de Vince. This site offers a series of short articles on various subjects related to the creation of fine art. These articles also provide links to works by Julinya Vidigal de Vince.

Plein Air Painting - Part V

Plein air painting is the art of painting out of doors. This is Part V of a five part article on plein air painting. Part I provided a brief history of plein air painting and discussed its purpose and goals. Part II discussed the preparations necessary for plein air painting. In Part III, we talked about the supplies needed when painting en plein air. Part IV discussed creating the painting and dealing with spectators. Now, in Part V, we complete the article by talking about ending your plein air painting day, and finishing the painting.
Ending the Day
Start thinking about stopping your work about an hour before you actually have to leave. This is the time to do an overall evaluation of the painting, to look at the scene, and to take notes on anything that you need to remember for your final work at home or in the studio. These notes may have to do with aspects of the light, how the colors appear, or specific details of the site that you noticed throughout the day. This last hour is also the time to take any final photographs.
Give yourself plenty of time to pack up before it gets dark, especially if you’re in an area that doesn’t have a source of artificial light. Remember that your painting will be wet, so make sure you pack it securely, so that neither your painting, nor the interior of your car, will end up with any changes that you didn’t expect!
Students at Julinya's July 2013 Plein Air Workshop
Finishing the Painting
Set a day for making the finishing touches to the painting. This may be the next day, in a few days or even a week, but don't do it the same day as your plein air painting event. This is because you need a little while to come down from the "high" of the plein air experience to be able to look critically at your work.
When you return to the painting, remind yourself of why you did this piece. Perhaps you were at a famous beach and wanted to depict its landmarks; or you painted a mission, and wanted to capture its history and old-world beauty. Perhaps on vacation you encountered stormy clouds over green summer mountains, and knew that this sort of vista would never be found at home. Whatever the reason, take a while to look at the painting as you recapture in your mind its purpose and essence.
Once you have the painting's purpose and essence in your mind, it's time to review the photographs you took throughout the day as well as the notes you made when ending your plein air day. After doing this, begin working to capture the things you may have noted. Bear in mind, though, that you want to filter out items in your notes that are too detailed, are hypercritical, or would in any other way detract from the freshness of the painting. (Notes like this often are called a "painter's list". Basically, a painter's list is your chance to record any corrections, additions, overall feelings and impressions as you look at your work. To learn more about making a painter's list, please see the upcoming article entitled Creating and Using a Painter's List.)
On the Left a Student's In-Progress Painting   -   On the Right another Student's Completed Painting
Remember that plein air painting is all about light and impression. To ensure that your painting stays true to this as you finish, keep the following in mind.
• Carefully select and render only the details that support the "impression" you've created.
• You don't need to be strict about making corrections.
• You don't need to be highly accurate. Don't add things, for the sake of accuracy, that would distract the viewer from what you're trying to emphasize.
For example, if you painted in a flower garden, you would want to create enough light and dark tones, highlights and bright color accentuation to give the painting depth and draw the viewer's attention to the areas you want to emphasize. However, you would not want to render every petal, leaf or stem, because too many details would hinder the viewer from taking in and appreciating the entire scene.
Finishing the painting while it's still loose and even a little "sloppy" will ensure that you convey the atmosphere and essence of your plein air experience.

Julinya Vidigal de Vince offers a variety of art workshops in Westlake Village California.

Julinya's Art Classes - Westlake Village, CA

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