Friday, July 6, 2012


"Golden Pond"  8" x 10"  oil/linen

The local golf courses that surround my home are an abundant source of painting material. We get all sorts of migrating waterfowl year round and I don't need a boat to go fishing. Yesterday evening I had the opportunity to capture this scene within five minutes of my home. 

Late afternoon/early evening scenes like this are fleeting and you have 20 minutes at best to capture the essence of the scene. It is always best to keep it simple so you have to make fewer decisions and move quickly. I start with a simple block in of basic shapes.

The clouds are moving quickly so painting them becomes more of a design exercise than actually trying to paint the clouds as they are. All I am going for is the separation of the green sky above the clouds and the orange sky below the clouds. The clouds look really grey on my canvas, but I think they will become bluer when I get the warm sky painted in.

 I throw in the sky colors and bring the orange color down into the water. The grey clouds turned considerably bluer when I painted in the sky, but I don't have time to stop and fix it now.

I paint in the water and add details to the trees. The sun has disappeared over the horizon so I only have a few minutes to finish the painting.

I add an egret sitting on the bank as a final touch using a palette knife to paint him in. Using the palette knife I paint in some grass and tree trunks on the big tree and I realize I probably haven't taken a breath the last five minutes and feel a little faint. Its dark now, time to go home.


Camille LaRue Olsen said...

Really lovely, Rusty!

Rusty Jones said...

Thanks Camille

Urban Wild said...

Hi Rusty--found your blog yesterday and have been going through it eagerly. I really like the demos. I've just getting started with plein air and I've learned a lot here. Thanks for sharing your work and methods!