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Weekly Paintings By National Award Winning Artist Terry d. Chacon

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gem Of the Valley

"Palm Light" 9 x 12 oil on canvas panel by Terry d. Chacon

On Monday April 5, I was asked to do a plein air demo for the Gem of The Valley Art Association in Murietta, Ca. What a great group of nice receptive artist, they were attentive, asked lots of questions and were very gracious. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I thank them for the opportunity to give my approach to one of my passions of painting en plein air.

First I sketched a simple sketch on the panel explaining what I would look for in a composition if I were actually painting out doors. I had taken a photo of the San Gorgonio Inn which I had recently painted on another day with the Plein Air Artists of Riverside. I liked the photograph because of the beautiful grouping of palms in the foreground. The beautiful distant mountains with snow caps are always a draw for me. This rustic old building which has great history will soon be torn down and replaced by a multi purpose center. I wanted to show the group about capturing light in a painting, and the grouping of palm trees in the foreground was my main focus. Since you have less than 2 hours to not only paint but talk and teach it is hard to do a complex composition, so this simple composition served well for the demo.

I quickly explained how you only have a short amount of time to do your painting as the light changes when you are painting out doors. You have to quickly get your sketch and values in the painting. I put tiny bits of color in each mass and rework them until I feel the value is correct. I don't fill up each mass until I am satisfied that the colors will work as an abstract under painting.

Once the values are correct I continue to paint each mass starting with the darkest dark first. I try to work with 7 or less masses, this particular painting has 6.

The above painting shows the value in the painting and note the photo on the easel with 2 of my other paintings. I was working from that photograph. It is different to do a painting from a photograph explaining the procedure and approach that I would use if I were indeed out in the open air. But I kept imagining I was outdoors and giving my thoughts as I went along.

There was a full house for the demo (around 40), this was taken during the refreshment break.

After the break I continued to refine the masses, adding some details.
I didn't get a photo of the finished painting at the demo, but when I got home I did some finishing details on the painting and this is the end result below.
Thank you Gem of the Valley and especially Katherine who was so helpful. I really enjoyed sharing my experiences and my art with you.
Until Next Time, ENJOY THE ART!
Terry d. Chacon

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