Weekly Observations

"Bridge." Painted somewhere between East Oakland and Alameda.

“Bridge.” Painted somewhere between East Oakland and Alameda.


"Winter's Lane," painted on location in the town of Briones.

“Winter’s Lane,” painted on location in the town of Briones.


A pen and ink study from a live model. 25 minutes.

A pen and ink study from a live model. 25 minutes.


My easel on location at Lake Anza in Tilden Park, Berkeley. This one was a struggle.

My easel on location at Lake Anza in Tilden Park, Berkeley. This one was a struggle.

I’ve recently begun to do more observations from life as my commissions have lightened up recently. It’s hard to keep up but when I have the opportunity to learn from nature there is no better teacher to be had! I am trying to push myself to use new colors and experiment with risky compositions. At the moment, I am participating in both a weekly plein air session as well as a figure drawing group. If I can keep both these in my schedule, I believe it will do my technical skills a world of good.

Some pieces come out, and others simply don’t. The last study is on location at a lake in a park in Berkeley. I wanted to experiment with super saturated blue shadows. As is often the case with high key colors, they got out of control. The end result is unbalanced and I found that when I finished, my favorite section was actually the top left where I simply painted what I saw with little attempt to edit reality. Oh well- you never know what will happen until you give it a try!

2 replies
  1. John Nitta
    John Nitta says:

    Great that your finding time to pursue these endeavors! Nature, I’m sure, does have it’s challenges, not only trying to capture it’s many colors but also that it’s ever changing. To capture the right moment in time has to be a huge challenge. But is there any right moment?

    Reply
    • colinnitta
      colinnitta says:

      Good question! It all depends on the location and the current meteorological conditions. Sometimes the clouds move and the landscape is lit in just the right way. The key is capturing that energy as quickly as possible. If anything, it’s about finding the right “moments,” as getting just one is basically impossible. That’s what photography is for, I think 🙂

      Reply

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