Art, Landscape, oil painting, Painting, Plein Air, Sketching, watercolor

Bird Rocks PA


6″ x 8″ oil on panel

Second day at the coast. I hiked down to a beach that’s only accessible, at high tide,  from a trail through an incredible rain forest  of giant twisted Sitka spruce and hemlock. It was another cloudy day and I had this stretch of beach to myself most of the time.

I find that painting in the open air makes the paint act differently than in the studio, so my project for the day was paint consistency. To get the look I want, I have to build up a substantial layer of paint to paint into. When painting PA, I’m limiting what I take with me to mainly the primary colors and I only use OSM for thinning the paint. I know some painters use the paint as it comes out of the tube with no medium whatsoever. I played with that today, trying different consistencies of paint, painting thinner paint into thicker and visa versa.

Here are a couple of warm up sketches I did in my sketchbook.


4 thoughts on “Bird Rocks PA”

  1. Love the colors in this one even more than the previous one Bill.
    Great design. I guess you worked that out with the sketches. I notice there is a break between the rocks in the painting that is not there in the sketch. Is that a design choice or was the tide coming in? Either way it works for me.


  2. A worth while excercise with the paint, Bill. I can’t say that I have noticed the difference between plein air and in studio paint application.. except for the “silly” outdoor below freezing temps we get here during winter. 🙂 Then out comes the oms !

    …A nice confident looking piece !

    Take care..


  3. Aletha, Thank you very much for letting me know you stopped by. I appreciate your encouragement

    Frank G. There is a break between the rocks I’m just a sloppy draftsman. I really had to push color in this, although I have to say that the lack of color in the overcast Pacific NW landscape has a beauty all it’s own. Thanks for your supportive comment.

    Frank E – I was thinking primarily of you when I mentioned artists who paint without medium. Another variable I didn’t mention is that for this and the last piece I was working on gessoed plywood which is very different than canvas or linen.

    I’m really inspired by your work. Thanks for dropping by.


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