Plein Air Lacombe

Driving home from Edmonton yesterday, we took Highway 2A and went through a lot of towns that I had never seen before.  We stopped for an hour in Lacombe and I did this painting of the downtown.  It’s such a pleasant way to see and remember a place.  I tried to do a lot of thinking and planning before painting the scene.  This involved a lot of squinting to identify the value pattern.  When I did this I was able to connect a number of buildings together because they were all part of one big shadow shape.  My biggest challenge at the moment is to be able to accurately identify and paint the different values the first time.  For example making sense of things like windows which are reflecting a darker value when they are also in shadow.  I’m still reading and enjoying the book, Watercolor Solutions by Charles Reid.  He is definitely a master of working with subtle differences in value.  He also is great at deciding the pattern of values that will work best in a painting instead of just copying the pattern that nature presents.

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