Ever since I learned about impressionists, I wanted to try plain air painting. There’s something magical about capturing the moment, the air, the ever-shifting reality. It turned out to be harder than I expected! At the time, I used acrylic paint, and due to it’s drying time it proved to be impractical to use in the field. It would dry up faster than I could mix colors, especially on the brushes. Normally, I don’t really use any water with acrylic paint, only sometimes the retarder and medium if I need some extra time or transparency. Which is why it was very inconvenient to try several new things at the same time. I discarded the en plein air painting thoughts until I learn to work with oil paint.

Additionally, it was tough to manage the tools in the field. Having to look for a suitable rock to position your canvas on or use one’s knees was not a practical idea! I realized that I need an easel, portable cleaning tools, and finally a carrier for the wet paintings. This seemed like a huge overhead for a simple idea of “get out and paint.” With time and help from the family (thank you very much dears), I managed to get suited for outdoors painting!

Finally, the time has come! I have tried oil painting at home and an opportunity to do a plain air painting presented itself. Therefore, I went for it! And found myself unable to work in impressionistic way! I started with an underpainting and it took me the entire time, until the sun started to set. However, I wouldn’t call this attempt a fail, rather a learning experience. One can’t paint an impression in traditional way, it has to be done in the moment. I’m sure I could come back and continue, but I have a feeling that plain air paintings should be done in alla prima while the memory is still fresh.

Anyway, I’m still happy with the results and that I got an opportunity to try. I used Indigo Blue and Titanium White to paint the entire work. I might finish this plain air waterfall painting at some point as I of course took pictures of that place. Since this first experience, I learned new things about oil paint and wet on wet technique. I’m eager to try more!

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