Old York Cellars, En Plein Air Watercolor Painting

Old York Cellars, En Plein Air Watercolor Painting

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Painting:  Old York Cellars – En Plein Air Watercolor Painting.  I had forgotten about this little gem that I found when going through folders for image files to upload to the new galleries.

Beginning a painting with a color scheme in mind has become a useful new habit.  At the end of this weekend’s en plein air event at the vineyard I had sixteen small watercolor paintings, each exhibiting color harmony!

John Pike Palette

I used my large, John Pike palette rather than one of my smaller, more portable palettes.  I find it easier to work with and re-wet the paint when I am painting in the sun.  I have two of these palettes.  I cut every other divider out of this one to make wider paint wells.

Old York Cellars, View from the vineyard

Old York Cellars, view from the vineyard

A great weekend of sunshine and friendship.

Paintings: Watercolor on watercolor paper

Yesterday at the plein air event at Old York Cellars two women, wine glasses in hand, having a ladies day of fun together, played The Color Scheme Game with me and threw the die to determine the colors I would use for a small painting of the grape vines.

Three grape vines at Old York Cellars

When I play the game in public, inviting bystanders to participate, the paintings are quick, ten minute sketches.  Nancy threw an eight for an Analogous with Split Complements Color Scheme.  Evelyne threw a ten for the dominant color to be Red/Orange.  None of us were thrilled with those results. I like the color scheme except when if falls horizontally across the color wheel leaving me with hues of almost identical value.  Neither Nancy nor Evelyne were terribly excited by the dominant color being red/orange.  To make the best of the situation I created a very minimal painting.  For contrast, I left the sky area white and added a bit of blue to the ground instead.  The vines were painted in the red, red/orange and orange.  The few strokes of landscape were done in the complements of blues and greens.

Nancy and Evelyne with their new painting.

In spite of our first lack of enthusiasm, the vines expressed the spirit of the vineyard and the painting captured their hearts and will be hanging on Evelyne’s wall.

Old York Cellars Grape Vines, en plein air event

To celebrate Nancy’s new position at work, Evelyne purchased another one of the little sketches I had done in the morning.  It will sit on Nancy’s new desk.

Paintings: Drawn first with dip pen and ink, followed by watercolor.

Along the hedgerow bordering the vineyard, a hunter’s tree stand is silhouetted against the bright sky.

Tree Stand, watercolor on hot press paper

Staying loose, I sketched the shapes in with a fountain pen filled with mystery brown ink.  I applied splotches of watercolor using fairly wet dilutions allowing the ink to mix with the color.  For my color scheme I used analogous with split complements as a starting point (yellow/orange, yellow, yellow/green, green plus red/violet and blue/violet.  I stayed away from red and blue.   Now that I’ve been out every day attempting to capture spring colors in the landscapes, I find I like using purples with greens.   Hot press paper keeps me from being fussy.  The color stays where it lands and I like that about it.

Old York Cellars vineyard, Ringoes, New Jersey.