Painting Outdoors or In the Studio

My experience with painting happened when I first visited my uncle’s graphic arts studio, where I took contact with the tempers and brushes as well as other materials used in that activity.

I remember that the jars of tempera came from Germany and Holland. The tempera is a material that is diluted with water, and using a brush is transferred to the paper. It is a painting that covers, contrasting with watercolor that is transparent, or the ink that could be.

The oil is a material that covers as well, but offers a different texture and its use is more for paintings over canvases. The use of the tempera was destined for commercial work.

Additionally, to my experience with tempera in mostly commercial works, I also got experience with oil painting. Indeed, when I was in high school, I had the opportunity to attend an oil painting course, taught by a professor at the School of Fine Arts in Lima, during the school holidays.

In there I learned a lot from the technique of oil painting, and specially the painting of still life and models that took place in the school halls.

After these initial experiences, which were as painting in the studio, I could say that my first experience of painting outdoors was when I attended school painting contests. In such contests participated all high school’s students of the city. The organizers carried us to some interesting square, where generally one of the buildings was a church or the municipality local. The material that we used was oil painting on a rigid cardboard base. Some participants used shoe polish as a paint. The winners of the contest got prizes and diplomas.

At one time I rented a room in my aunt’s house and there I remember working many oil paintings. I had learned to prepare the canvases and that made my work easier and more economical.

Few years ago I became more interested in watercolor painting. I already had experience with such material, but I think that after seeing the works of watercolor artists in the art salons that were organized in my city, I felt a desire to learn more about this technique and began to paint with it.

I decided to do some watercolors outdoors and for that I looked for scenery outside the city. Scenery with fields, trees, rivers and blue sky. Furthermore it’s important a sunny climate, because in order to paint outdoors is advisable a sunny day, as there are lights and shadows that contrast the painting. The best time to paint outdoors is to do it before or after noon, because in those hours the shadows are much better appreciated.

Actually, painting outdoors is really a very pleasant experience and it’s more when you achieve a good painting, as it’s the same as winning a challenge. It’s advisable to take an easel and a folding chair, although in the field you can find somewhere to sit. The easel must be supported with a weight, which can be a stone that hangs from it. This is done so that no unwanted wind will pull it down.

The paper must be previously glued to a wooden base, but you can also use watercolor blocks whose sides are glued.

Furthermore, you need to consider that painting an outdoor watercolor is a process that must be executed quickly, as the sunlight changes rapidly and there may be variation in colors, although not so much in forms, except when you are painting animals like cattle, horses or birds.