Beach Art – En Plein Air Painting on Pender Island


En plein art painting is always an interesting experience. You are dealing with shifting light, unpredictable conditions plus distractions. The great thing about working en plein air is how it teaches you to see and break down a scene so that it can be rendered on paper or canvas.

It has been quite a while since I have painted en plein air landscapes, but the last few days provided great opportunities. The beaches of Pender Island have been beautiful places to sit and paint.


Being a minimalist at heart, I have made a few changes to the art equipment used for outdoor painting. The art kit has now been stripped down to a watercolour pad, a waterbrush, a small travel watercolour paint kit, and a fountain pen. So streamlined. Less is definitely proving to be best, allowing me to focus on the painting rather than on an overwhelming array of art materials.

http://www.debra-hunter.com

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Opus Daily Practice – day 9

#opusdailypractice

Opus Daily Practice day 9. The theme was “muted”. As much as I thought about creating a muted piece to fit the theme I am currently working on, the more the weather outside called to the theme. So after a quick snowshoe, I set about to do a quick , muted, en plein air watercolour. Soft, muted, and a limited palette. Photographed still wet, as it was going to take a bit to dry in sub zero temperatures.

blog-opus-daily-practice-day-9-dyeing

I also managed a bit of dyeing. Pomegranate for one skein and lac for another. I’m being very economical with my wool at the moment as I need to place another order….crazy when you think I order 25 lbs at a time!

#opusdailypractice

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En Plein Air – April 17, 2016 – Waskasoo Parks (Red Deer)

Waskasoo Parks - April 17, 2016 - 8"x10" - oil on canvas

Waskasoo Parks – April 17, 2016 – 8″x10″ – oil on canvas

Another en plein air painting, 8 paintings in 8 days. After yesterday’s rushed watercolour I returned to oils today. The oils were tackier in the sun, harder to move around, but they do seem to suit en plein air painting where your time is limited and it is more of a gesture rather than a detailed painting. Of course I believe the concept of doing a painting a day is more about process than product; away of learning how to make yourself paint rather than waiting for the perfect scenario and inspiration.

Painting by Debra Hunter.

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En Plein Air – April 16, 2016 – Johnson Lake, Banff National Park

Johnson Lake, Banff National Park - April 16, 2016 - 5"x7" - watercolour on paper

Johnson Lake, Banff National Park – April 16, 2016 – 5″x7″ – watercolour on paper

Day 7 of en plein air painting brought a challenge. We decided to go out of town hiking, so the only way to keep up the daily painting was to pack up the watercolours for a quick paint post hike.

Another little one, 5″x7″, watercolour on paper.

Art by Debra Hunter

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En Plein Air – April 14, 2016 – McKenzie Ponds, Red Deer

blog mckenzie ponds april 14 2016-5x7

mckenzie ponds, red deer – april 14, 2016 – 5″x7″ – oil on canvas

This is the fifth en plein air painting in 5 days. A tiny 5×7 in oil. I haven’t touched oils in years and years, but it felt like it was worth a go. What I liked about the oils was the color, creaminess and the ability to alter what you have laid down. What I don’t like is the smell, the dry time, and the fact I reckon things could get murky pretty fast if you mess about on the canvas. Still, an interesting experiment to mix things up a bit.

Painting by Debra Hunter

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En Plein Air – April 13th, 2016 – Backyard Sycamore

blog backyard sycamore april 13 2016 8x10_4699

Backyard Sycamore – April 13, 2016 – 8″x10″ – acrylic on paper

Four en plein air paintings in four days. I am continuing to work on paper with acrylic. I had a little more time than I did yesterday to paint which was nice, as was working on an easel. One thing I was wanting to achieve with this piece was stronger colors as I think I tend to be too cautious when painting on location. I think I take the colors of the natural landscape too literally and too seriously, and I wanted to change that. So today’s piece is gutsier and maybe more honest to the way I like to paint trees.

The challenge continues. Now to decide what to paint tomorrow!

Painting by Debra Hunter

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En Plein Air – April 12, 2016 – Coronation Park, Red Deer

blog coronation park april 12 2016_4678 Today’s en plein air effort, a 45 minute acrylic on paper sketch of Waskasoo Creek in Coronation Park (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada).

Refreshing to paint an overcast sky rather than the typical bright blue of Alberta.

I have noticed other artists attempting “100 paintings in 100 days” as a personal challenge, I may see how long I can keep the “painting a day” going. It appears , so far, that the key to success is just taking the kids along with me rather than trying to carve out time on my own to paint. Let’s hope life and the weather continue to co-operate!

Painting by Debra Hunter

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En Plein Air – April 11, 2016 – Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary

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Today’s en plein air effort. A very quick 30 minute paint. When you have very little time to put a scene down in paint you really have to minimize the detail.

I am going to continue posting these quick en plein air paintings as it is interesting to look back on the progress.

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