| 02 November, 2014 00:17
I took a step outside my comfort zone a couple of weeks ago and joined a group of pastelists on a plein air adventure, on the Texas coast at Matagorda, where we found lovely dunes and sea grasses. We first set up at Palacios, but the weather took a turn for the worse. Pastels will be ruined by rain, so we packed up and moved on to a sunny location. The shrimp boats will be there another day in Palacios.
I have painted many times en plein air, but always in oil. Well, once in watercolor, but usually I paint with oils. I was interested in trying to paint outdoors with pastels. How many colors does one need? How difficult are they to transport? Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find they were very easy to work with outdoors. I was not happy, however, with limiting my palette. A limited palette works well in oil because you can mix whatever color you want if you start with the correct primaries. You simply cannot take all the pastel colors you will need. And setting up on the beach in a brisk breeze, while very pleasant, presents distinct problems for the painter. Pastel paper is virtually weightless, and mounted to foamcore it's still pretty much weightless. It is clipped to the easel while painting, but transporting the finished piece to its protected carrier can be tricky in wind.
I was not unhappy with the resulting painting. Bear in mind, it's a color study, not a finished studio piece. All in all, the experience was fun, and one I'll definitely repeat. Stay tuned.