Painting on location at Ft Lauderdale Beach yesterday I came prepared with all the supplies for an afternoon of plein air oil painting. When I arrived and set up in my beach chair I realized that I forgot my cell phone. I take paintings in progress photos as I am painting. Nonetheless I setup in the shade of a palm tree and got to work.
This location piece had great light and color and the subject was perfect. A man was reading a book in the sun as he sat in a beach chair. The person behind him was seeking the shade from a striped awning attached to a beach chair. Perfect.
Using the pochade box I made from an old cigar box I squeezed out the oil paint onto the wooden palette. Starting with an earth orange color I tinted the white panel. That color still peeks through in spots in the finished oil painting. I started right in drawing with the brush, laying out the composition. Working wet into wet requires a clean brush with every stroke. Wiping the paintbrush with a rag before I load the color onto the brush keeps the color clean. Otherwise, colors get muddy.
There is a nice contrast between the cool ocean in the background and the warmer hues of the beach sand and figures. Just about any day of the week I can find great subjects to paint at Ft Lauderdale Beach. With a little preparation painting at the beach beats studio painting any day.