Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Plein Air in Benicia

...Fish-Riddell House...
oil on canvas panel - 6" x 8"

I went out painting with the plein air group from Benicia, CA. (DaGroup, a really nice group of artists!) They paint at different spots, and this was the subject for this week. The house has a long history, but the woman who lived here was Benecia's first plein air painter. Did you know Benecia used to be the state capitol?
Anyway, I don't usually do architecture, so this was a special challenge. And of course, painting outdoors at the scene is always challenging. 

Well, little did I know, but the local newspaper thought our group painting outside would be a good story. So they sent a reporter out to interview us. Since I hadn't been with the group long (this was my 3rd time out with them), the reporter asked about how I paint, etc. There was also a photographer who was taking our pictures, and pictures of our paintings as they developed (no pressure there!)

As luck would have it, the painting came out fine. The sky was the same value as the roof, and at first I had made it lighter, so the roof would contrast with the sky. After I got home, I decided the painting would have more life if I darkened the sky, so this is the final result. The story will be a feature article in next Sunday's Daily Republic!

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