Tired of Working in the Studio?

DSC02530While watering my garden this morning I noticed how the sun sharply lite the top of a Live Oak.  It’s lacy outline was accentuated by a backdrop of dark shadows.  As the branches faded in and out of the shadows the reflected light shimmered. I realized everything I needed to know about Oak trees was right there! The inspiration every artist needs. Yes the trumpets were playing and the angels came down from the heavens so, I ran and grabbed my drawing bag! What a great morning.

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Quail Study in Graphite

Quail Study in graphite on toned paper, 9 x 12 by Rita Alvarez , after photograph by Kim Cabrera
Quail Study in graphite on toned paper, 9 x 12 by Rita Alvarez , after photograph by Kim Cabrera

This is my first study of a quail. I learned a lot already and can’t wait until drawing these gorgeous little birds becomes second nature. They will embellish my future paintings of the Sierra Foothills along with poppies and granite rock outcroppings. I love the California landscape!

More work on evening painting

This view from one of my favorite sitting spots faces west where the sun disappears every evening. Since each sunset is a little different, at this point I am picking and choosing which subtle differences I want to keep and which to change. These choices are based on the overall tone I wish to communicate.

Plain air painting in the Sierra Foothills by Rita Alvarez
Plain air painting in the Sierra Foothills by Rita Alvarez

An Evening Painting

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When it’s too hot during the summer months to paint outdoors I often paint at dusk. From my perspective (on top of a hill) I have the advantage of being able to view far into the horizon. This painting will focus on the illusion of distance using atmosphere as a drawing technique. There are two more commonly used artist techniques used to portray distance, can you name them? Leave a comment and lets talk about it!