This is exactly what my new over-the-phone painting coach, Ian Roberts, told me on Monday when I had a critique. Ian stressed that practice is the most important thing for a painter. His other key suggestion was to get outside and learn about what nature REALLY looks like. Knowing the true colors and shapes of nature helps to fix problem areas in a painting. Seeing a subject in true context makes it easier to add or subtract from a composition while keeping the painting balanced. Learing to paint En Plein Air will help me create more dramatic and powerful paintings.
My first outdoor painting below was done in black, white and yellow ochre. This limited palette was intended to get me to focus on the composition, the color shapes and the sunlight. Plein Air painting is a bit cumbersome at first but I know that doing it repetitively will help my painting technique overall.
En Plein Air: A path at Torrey Pines State Reserve, 4:30 PM, March 17th