Marsh Plein Air Drawing

It's important to keep all the tools in my "artistic toolbox" sharp so I'm drawing and sketching today to study shapes and forms from nature.

Besides, it's relaxing and enjoyable.

"Reaching for the Marsh"
Charcoal and white pastel on paper
Drawing : 10.5" x 14"
Matted and Framed : 19 x 23.5"
Price: $150.00

"Mossy Marsh Oak" A Plein Air Painting Using a Toned Surface

In my plein air painting "Mossy Marsh Oak", I used a warm color on the painting surface to enrich my oil paint. The warm tone of the canvas adds contrast to the cool blues and greens in the landscape. It also gives impact to the highlights in the Live Oak, Spanish moss, and marsh.

The painting panel was prepared several days earlier and allowed to dry.
Once on location, I lightly sketched the scene in charcoal on my painting surface.
Next, I worked over the sketch with thinned oil paint to establish the composition.

I then painted the horizon line, marsh and sky. The form of oak tree in the foreground was painted last, to build on the values of the sky and middle ground marsh.

As the afternoon sun began to set, I was able to see the last rays of the sun highlighting the marsh, creek and live oak. These highlights were added quickly by "etching" into the layer of oil paint revealing the warm tone of the panel.

I hope you like the result of "planned spontaneity" by using a pretoned canvas in this plein air painting of sunlight on a Mossy Marsh Oak.

"Late Summer In the Marsh" Plein Air Drawing and Painting by a Lowcountry Creek

There's a hint of fall in the Lowcountry this week. The weather is perfect for plein air painting in the marsh with a slight breeze and no bugs.

I started with a preliminary charcoal drawing of the marsh scene before painting. I often bring my sketch book to work out design issues in a composition. Drawing is a useful tool - it sharpens artistic observation and is a good "creative warm up" for painting.

Here's the final plein air painting of the marsh scene in oil. I've adjusted the composition to include the bend in the creek. This change leads the viewer's eye from the foreground around the bend of the creek into the marsh rather than off the page as in the earlier charcoal drawing. I've also lowered the horizon line to include more sky.

Painting is a "process" as well as a "product". Hope you like the result.

"Late Summer in the Marsh"
11"x 14"
Oil on cradled panel