Plein Air at Willamette River

A nice time in Portland, years ago.

By Zed A. Shaw

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.

More from Zed A. Shaw

The Beggar Barons

The rise of the trillionaire beggars.

OpinionPublished 2022-02-05

Sometimes, It's Fun to Die

The survival crafting video game is my pandemic theme song.

OpinionPublished 2021-04-08

The Most Zed Story About a Knife

A microcosm story that more completely explains who I am than anything else you'll read.

OpinionPublished 2020-10-08

Authoritarianism of Code

An essay on the pervasive internalized authoritarianism found in the programming profession.

OpinionPublished 2020-10-07