Blue Hills and Gray Skies!

March 12, 2012

It’s March and spring is mostly here. We are finally receiving small blessings of rain to quench the dry creek beds and slowly refill a few of our rivers and lakes.  Yes, only a few,  in the past 2 weeks we have received most of 3-4 inches. Our famous spring flowers and Texas Blue bonnets are sprouting hungrily to take advantage of our spring rains.

Though it does not end our drought conditions by any means, it does make for fun finding the spots for spring paintings.  I’ve managed a few small paintings despite our wet season.

Leander Hills, West view. 6x6" #2012_03_03

Even the cloudy days are a welcomed site.  Offering softer changing shadows and colors.  Hazy days easily show atmospheric perspective in our distant soft rolling hills here and occasionally reflect the warm glow of early morning sun as it peeks through the cloud cover.

Stewart Ranch, Dripping Springs. 6"x6" 2012_03_08

The trick is remembering to scale down all the visual noise or info and simply look for the shapes and rhythms found throughout the hilly landscapes.  I find myself often reciting a mantra to remind me of my conscience depiction of cool light warm shadows for cloudy days or warm light and cool shadows on sunny mornings with distant blue hills familiar to the Austin vistas.

Working quickly and settling on you composition is 50% of capturing what you find.  The other part is knowing you palette ranges and remembering to simply suggest the terrain, since it is often a study to work out larger studio paintings.

Picking plein air locations are as much fun as planning a spring walk or picnic venture, only I get to paint what I find too.  More spring colors are blooming each morning so there’s plenty to inspire with our vast blues hills.

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