Traveling and sketching on location


I have been on the road quite a bit lately, painting in three different countries. Can you guess which ones? All these are done on location, in less than 40 minutes, and with only one paintbrush. They are pretty small, approximately 5″ x 8″.

I had a few interesting interruptions while painting:

An armored bank vehicle blocked my way about halfway into one painting. He actually moved the thing when I asked him, which was very nice, considering the gravity of his job. The same thing happened again later that day, this time with a delivery truck. I just decided to relocate. In a way those are great learning experiences and it teaches me to be extremely flexible and to stay calm no matter what happens.

Painting in Venice was a great experience. There were so many artists, I was always close to another painter.

Painting on location is by far the most rewarding, and a lot of times those small paintings have  more life in them than any of the studied studio pieces done from reference materials. The least I like to do is a color sketch if I plan a bigger piece later at home. It always seems to come out better. Sometimes I still like the sketch better afterwards! Maybe it’s because there’s no time to think and I am forced to get it done quickly, thereby creating a more spontaneous looking painting? I’ve no idea…

More to come from Venice and Amsterdam!

6 thoughts on “Traveling and sketching on location

  1. lesliepaints

    I like all of these! I especially like the one with all the little people and the tent with buildings rising behind, the little guy hurrying along by the lamp post. I, too, have enjoyed painting outdoors and had cars and trucks park. Smile. I always figure it’s part of the territory!

    1. frankeber Post author

      Thank you very much, Leslie. Definitely right, it’s part of the territory and a great teacher. There’s just no time for rules and theories you’ve learned in art school. I love it.

    1. frankeber Post author

      You can do it, Linda! Painting outside forces us to just focus on the essentials. That way it also improves our studio work, in my opinion.

  2. Noemí

    I think the paintings done in plen-air becomes a memento for the artist. One can sense light, air, the feeling of concentration … wordless

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