"The Oyster Boats"
This studio painting (above) is a result of painting a small piece (below), “Oyster boats” 6x9 oil, on location and taking information and reference to the studio to develop a larger work, “The Oyster Boats”, 15x30. The small sketch below was obviously painted at a different time of day and light, but it is the same location. There are things about studio paintings that are not achievable in Plein air because of the time restraint, but again, I try to treat them as similar as possible……my method does not change from field sketch to studio. I touched on this in a previous blog, “Plein air, Style or Process”. Plein air is not a style of painting, but the act of painting outdoors in open air.
"San Blas" is a studio effort that evolved from the little Plein Air sketch below. I painted the study (6x9, oil on linen) last year at the Forgotten Coast paint out in Apalachicola, Florida. The studio painting is 12x24, oil on linen. It is very similar in feeling.......particularly the light. The energy and spontaneous brushwork in the sketches are often, for me, difficult to duplicate......so I don't necessarily try to do that. If it happens, then that's great, but each painting is a different painting, and the studies on location help me use the reference properly, and not just copy photo imagery. I try to pretend, or treat the studio paintings the same way, if possible, that I do the field sketches. The most important thing about painting on location or from life, for me, is the knowledge the camera cannot see what the eye can see. The camera will give you excellent information about structural details and such. The Plein air or life sketches give you a sense of place, accurate shadow value......things that have a tendency to get inky or dark in the photo reference......may it is just my poor photography!