Do outdoor painters do the entire body of their landscape work outside? Sometimes. I know of artists who paint large-scale paintings completely outdoors, using paint tubes loaded into caulking guns.
But sometimes an artist will go into the studio to finish a painting begun outdoors, sometimes to make an enlargement of an outdoor painting, and sometimes to make a new painting entirely from sketches and photos taken on location.
I like to do a number of oil sketches outside, and draw from those plus my memory -- and sometimes a black-and-white photo -- to do a larger painting. The larger painting is not usually a straight blowup of the small sketch. Usually I'm experimenting with techniques and colors to more fully express my experience while I was in nature.
While painting on location at Cummins Falls, I was impressed by two things: one was the depth of the gorge (as you may have noticed in my post Fun With Gravity) and the other was the beautiful color of the water. It was the kind of blue-green I have only seen at Glacier Park and Switzerland. I wanted to do a larger painting which would downplay the whiteness of the foaming water, and incorporate that beautiful turquoise color throughout. I also wanted to emphasize the plunging perspectives of this gorge.
In order to do that, I made some pencil sketches from memory. Then I matched the color of the water which I had used for the on-location sketches. Third, I made a black-and-white print to help me with specifics of the geology. You can see in this photo how I had those references set up on my wall easel.
Creating the painting was that kind of creative process which involves lots of decisions and adjustments. The basic method was the same as that which I showed you in "Oil Sketches." I roughed in the composition in brown, and glazed the blue into the pool directly on the white canvas. The waterfall is violet, followed by successively paler tints of blue, with white placed on the highlights at the end.
The trees on the left side required some experimentation, as I wanted to keep them unfocused but believable.
The Chestnut Group of painters have been at Cummins Falls for a number of days now. Tomorrow is our last day. Many of us have gone into the framing stage of this project. The exhibit is next week -- we have been working hard, and I hope we sell ALL of these beautiful paintings! You can see some of them at this facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-The-Chestnut-Group/158817197486154