Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How to Paint the County Fair, August 3, 2017

This is the third and final plein air painting of the county fair.  You can see the first two HERE and HERE.  I decided to get to the county fair venue a bit earlier than the past two evenings and catch more of the daylight and setting sun.  I really liked the vantage point I had selected and decided to set up in the same spot.  I think it really helps to explore a subject in depth and to paint it multiple times.  Since the county fair is such a time limited event, I wanted to take full advantage while it was in town.
I did a quick sketch of the scene using a brush dipped in oil and magenta pigment.

The picture makes it look like it is really light out but dusk is closing in quickly.
I began with the dark trees in the background and then started on the sky.  I mixed a light cerulean blue for the top of the sky and mixed a rosy sunset color using Cadmium Yellow Light and Cadmium Red Light and Medium plus white for the bottom.  Then I mixed the two hues to get the middle ground where the sunset colors meet the fading blue sky.  The cerulean blue and the orangey rose color are complements so they make a beautiful ethereal neutral where the two meet and mix. I then blocked in the foreground with the green grass and road.

This time I thought I would paint in some of the lights before painting in the background, negative space, right behind the rides.  A bit of a reverse from the two prior evenings when I painted in the ground and falling night and popped in the lights at the end, on top of the dark ground.
After putting in the lights, I popped in the dark and light negative spaces around the ride lights and then pulled back out the lights on top.  You can still see the last remnants of light in the sky.
I finally finished up by 9:00-9:30 p.m. and packed up.  This time, I headed home without walking through the fair.  I knew the exhibits would be empty and the rides and food vendors would be shutting down shortly and I decided to get home to dinner.

Here's the final painting:
 "County Fair, August 3, 2017", plein air oil on panel, 12" x 16", c. 2017, by Charlene Marsh.

Which of the three county fair paintings is your favorite?  You can see the first one HERE and the second one HERE.  Let me know.  I'd love to get your  opinion.

Thanks for following along!

Happy Trails!


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