Sunday, November 1, 2015

Plein Air Painting in the Woods, "Waiting For Teddie"

This blog shows how I create a painting "en plein air" out in the forest.  Kendra and I are heading out on the trail to a spot a good mile back on the ridge with a gorgeous view.
The pochade and tripod are set up and ready to go.  I lay out my palette back in the studio before heading out on the trail.  I try to put out as much paint as I think I will need. I start with a panel that has been tinted with a Naphthol Crimson Red.
I lay out the initial sketch using a small brush dipped in Cold Pressed Linseed oil and picking up a mix of transparent magenta and cerulean blue. 
Next, using the palette knives, I lay in blocks of color and values.
The painting progresses. I usually block in the sky near the end of the painting.
I know this photo is hideous and I only include it to show that I was finishing the painting at dusk, as it was getting quite dark.  Before I started packing up, a coyote very nearby started to howl and scream and it was most unnerving!  I was sure glad I had Kendra with me.  She started to bark at the coyote and it must have moved away because I didn't hear it again.  I walked home a mile in the dark using my headlight flashlight to light the trail.
The finished painting is an oil on panel, 12" x 24".  I named it "Waiting for Teddie" because this is a place on the trail we would stop and wait for my old dog, Teddie, during the last two years of his life, to give him a chance to catch up with us before moving on.  He moved slower and slower towards the end of his life but he always wanted to go with us out into the woods.  I still often stop here and sometimes I think I see him in the distance catching up with us on the trail.  


  1. Charlene: This is a beautiful process! I love your work and the glimpse into your creative process!
    Angie Simpson

  2. This is really interesting Charlene. I am such a 'studio artist' LOL! I love to see how others create and find their artistic voice :)

  3. Thanks for sharing how you approach your paintings. It's very interesting and the finished artwork is beautiful!

  4. Hi, Angie~
    Thanks so much! When I would try to tell people at the shows how I make the paintings, their eyes would kinda glaze over so I figured a picture is worth a thousand words! Let me know when you are going to be back in Southern Indiana! :-) xoxoxo

  5. Hi, Mary~
    Studio paintings are so much easier to do! Well, maybe "easy" isn't the word but more comfortable, for sure!