Sunday, June 01, 2008


6x6 oil painting on fom-cor

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Paintings created outdoors directly from nature provide a direct connection between artist and the landscape. This enables the artist to capture unique subtleties that account for the great popularity of plein air paintings by collectors, galleries and museums.

Painting outdoors at night presents unique challenges, however. Moonlight tests the artist’s skills at color mixing and blending. But nothing beats the feeling of having a look at the results next morning and realizing you created a winner.

When painting under challenging conditions I prefer to simplify the variables. With only a palette knife and my fingers I created this moonlit scene outdoors at night using the small metal paintbox shown in my “PLEIN AIR” CD.

The palette knife provided rich texture and eliminated the need for brushes, solvents or mediums. Pigments were used straight from the palette. And there were no brushes to clean afterwards.

Using my fingers I softly blended the sky, which provided a wonderful contrast to the bold texture of the palette knife strokes in the trees and land.

My compact paintbox was worth its weight in gold. It securely held the painting in place as I worked. When I finished I simply closed the lid, with palette and painting safely held in place to carry home.

Today’s thought to smile about:
Memories arranged on a shelf or mantle

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Blogger Ann Reyes said...

What a beautiful painting!!! I really love this one! The looseness, colors, and emotions in this are so nice. Did you use a small light on your palette to mix your colors?

8:27 AM  
Blogger Tom Brown said...

Yes, I have a small light that fastens on my cap for night painting. It gives enough light to work without ruining my night vision. I picked it up in the camping department of a sporting goods store. There's a photo of me painting on location at night on one of my past blog entries. One of my students shot the photo when I was conducting a plein air night class. Thanks for looking. - Tom
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9:00 AM  
Blogger Cara Dawn Romero said...

Love this - very intense - says a lot in such a small space.

12:27 PM  

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