11x14 oil on gessobord
Having painted this particular grouping of palm trees before, I thought I'd revisit it this morning in preparation for the "Painting Palm Trees in Oils" class I'll be teaching at Keeton's Art Supply Store in Bradenton next month. When I started out the scene was all in shadow, but I knew from experience that the light would play its way across the sand and touch the palm trees in due time, so I worked on laying in the big masses and getting my drawing right to start. When painting outdoors, anything more than about 2 hours and you're lights/shadows will have all changed. The scene will look entirely different than when you started, so inevitably you'll end up chasing the light (a big no no!) or painting from memory. This is why I generally try and keep my plein air paintings to a maximum of about 2 hours. Towards the end of that time frame the morning light began to creep across this sand dune. I was then able to put on "the magic" (aka the light) as I painted into the effect of the moment.