Sunday, July 12, 2009

Palletteers have fun painting at the Frederiksted pool

On Friday we painted at the Vincent F. Mason Sr. Coral Resort, aka, the Frederiksted Pool. Not only is there a pool there, but there is also a surprisingly clean beach, complete with little palm covered shelters and lovely seagrapes.
It turned into a truely delightful place to paint: we were surrounded by several small groups of little campers from various organizations splishing and splashing, screeching and laughing, as they enjoyed the cooling waters of the Caribbean. Midway into my painting, two little campers came by to ask what we were doing. They were so cute and really seemed interested, so I took a break and brought them around to meet all the other artists. We definitely had some admirers. The little girls were so enchanted that they quickly went to fetch their friends to come back with them for a painting tour! They asked me if I was working.. and seemed surprised when I told them that I was playing.. that painting was fun for me. Then they asked if I was painting to be in a contest. I told them not a contest but maybe for a show. They didn't understand the show concept perhaps because they'd never seen one. It was a pleasant respite from painting and gave my back a chance to stretch a little bit before finishing. Melissa did a cute acrylic painting of the girls checking out my oil setup. She painted me in a nice bright yellow outfit for the picture and gave me stunning red hair.. what do you think, should I live life as a redhead for a while?
The painting below of the gorgeous flowering flamboyant gracing the resort's main building was done by Marcia.
Emy's oil painting, below, shows the beach view from the resort looking beyond the seagrape towards Frederiksted town and the hills.
Brenda's watercolor, above, captured that same view with one of the camper's moms sitting in the shade of the seagrape keeping a watchful eye on the swimmers. The painting's not finished yet.. Brenda wants to add a few more touches to the water before it's done.
Elizabeth and I were experimenting with our paintings. Unbeknownst to each other, we'd each applied a wash to our paintings. Her first painting, at the right, started out with a red toned background and came out looking somewhat oriental.. so she added some purple colors to the beach and we kinda liked the final result. We decided we weren't enamored of her second painting, in the center above, ... too much red tone. But the last one she did, with the subtle blue tones.. we liked that one alot!
Once I decided to paint the grapetree branches (see below) I thought that a reddish pink wash would provide a good basis for the greens of the leaves and for what started as a somewhat gloomy day's sky. So I rubbed the wash on and then let it dry while I drew my sketch, laid out my pallette, and mixed my paints. Because I paint ala prima (wet paint on wet paint) I decided it'd be easier to paint the background first and then paint in the leaves and branches. Unfortunately, it wasn't until I was working on the leaves that I noticed that the background in the center part of the painting was looking lavendar.. Oops! Either my wash wasn't dry enough by the time I applied my background, or my paint had thinned out too much by the time I got to the center of the canvas. Whatever. It wasn't until I got home and looked at it more carefully, out of the sunlight, that I decided I don't like the lavendar effect. The next time you see this painting, it will either have a second coat of background blue on it or more leaves, or both..:^)..and hopefully I'll have learned a lot more about using washes.
and so it goes... We adjourned to Sand Castle on the Beach for a great lunch and called it a good painting day! Hope you're having some good painting days wherever you are, too!
PS: After writing the blog entry above, I was energized so I repainted my painting's background. I added some more leaves and seagrapes too. I'm pretty happy with my results now because this is more what I envisioned when I'd begun my painting. What do you think? One of the beauties of oils is that you can do this.. rework a painting if it doesn't come out the way you want the first time around. It's hot enough here, especially lately, that even oil paintings are dry enough to paint on the next day! Voila!

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