“You must try to match your colors as nearly as you can to those you see before you, and you must study the effects of light and shade on nature’s own hues and tints”……….. William Merritt Chase (1849-1916)
William Merritt Chase was a modern master of early impressionism and plein air painting. This quote sums up the process of painting under the open skies. It is important to keep Mr. Chase’s words in mind when you are painting outdoors, analyzing the scene before you. It can be overwhelming! So much to see and a small canvas space to interpret the view.
I am an intuitive painter, but I am certainly aware of the elements of painting. For those who are not familiar with these elements, they include: color, value (light/dark), shape, line, texture, space or volume, design, and composition. How do I start a painting? First, I decide on what I want the painting to say. The next step is actually the most important part of the painting process: creating the design and composition of the work. I always complete at least one sketch to work out the details. I then lay down an underpainting, establishing shapes and values, and I begin painting in earnest. I relax and let my intuitive side take over. I think of the words from Mr. Chase and let it flow.