Plein Air at Willamette River

I haven’t had a chance to paint outside in a while since I’m working on a new book and going to school part-time.  I took a quick trip to Portland and despite dragging my paintbox all the way there only found time to do one quick painting before I left. Here’s what I painted at the river:


Here’s a photo of my setup, the painting, and the scene:


When I got home and the painting had dried I tried out some scumbling and glazing techniques to fix a few things about the painting. I had painted it in the bright noon sunshine so everything was way too dark and the river was too intense blue.  Here’s my first attempt at changing it:


I made the sky much lighter by scumbling on white and pthalo blue very thinly. I pushed the distant mountains back with more of a glaze of white and little bit of blue. Then I put more intense green on the light side of the trees and finally glazed on some blue and transparent green and a little orange to make the water less intense.

I think I should have left out that weird spindly tree but I’ll leave it and do something else with it in one more round. I think I’ll also experiment with water reflections, but mostly this is just experimenting on a failed painting. It’s kind of like photoshopping it to see how you could fix it.