Many artists paint from photographs, their computer monitor, and an assortment of other reference materials. Myself as well. However, painting outdoors on occasion, has helped me immeasurably when using photos as reference while working in my studio. The experience gained has helped me to better interpret what the camera distorts and misrepresents. A good example is shadows. The shadows and darks in a landscape most often reproduce as dark masses, lifeless in color. Your outdoor experience teaches you to understand the subtle value and color variations that you can now incorporate into your work.
Get out there, paint from life. You don’t have to invest, in all the paraphernalia related to plein air painting (French for “in the open air”). Just take a minute to look around your own back yard. Paint a tree, your fence, set up a still life in a sunny spot. You can make a painting from almost anything.
Have fun with this, don’t expect a masterpiece. Consider this an exercise to enhance your results in the studio. Do this, and it will change the way you look at photographs!
My finished painting will be on display at the Fifth Avenue Art Gallery for the month of February. I welcome your comments and thoughts, If you decide to give this a try, send me your image for my feedback. Email to Fifthavenueartgallery@gmail.com, attn: Bill
Go to: Bill’s page for more about his background and to view a sampling of his artwork.