Plein Air in Bishop, CA

I was able to do a few quick sketches on a recent trip to the Eastern Sierras. It was actually a rock climbing trip, but I had to go out and paint one morning. These are pretty small (about 8″x 10″) and my goal was to finish in less than twenty minutes per sketch. It’s a great exercise and I highly recommend it as it forces you to minimize details and focus on the mood of the place at the time. The goal is always to capture what a place “feels” like at a certain time…. I used a bit of Chinese white for the water sprinklers in the background of the first one. I usually try to stay transparent but these are so small I wasn’t able to save the white for them.outside Bishop, by frankeber 2010

I usually start with a pencil sketch to determine where the shapes will be, followed by the background washes. Once those are in, I try to place a few darks–like a tree in this case–to help guide me with the values. It helps to always ask yourself: how light or how dark is it, compared to the other parts?

I love the Sierras. There is definitely some magic light there and the best time to go to Bishop is actually the winter. It is very hot in the summer but winter is just beautifully sunny with balmy temperatures. If you ever visit, don’t forget to stop by Schat’s Bakkery [sic] on the main street and buy some tasty bread and pastries!the farmhand, by frankeber, 2010

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6 thoughts on “Plein Air in Bishop, CA

  1. lesliepaints

    These are so open. That’s what you have passed on to me as well as the time limit you place on yourself! Your skill is evident in both of these. I like the first one SOOOOO much! The silhouetted forms of the cows in the shade in the foreground and the light coming through the pasture behind them all nestled in front of the mountain. Beautiful. The inclusion of the man in the second one makes me want to weave a tale. Thank-you for the outdoor painting trips you mentioned in this post, Frank!

    1. frankeber Post author

      You are very welcome, Leslie. I will try to post more tips in my post. It’s actually good to talk about it and remind myself at the same time. Besides, sharing with other artists is very rewarding. I learn from you as well and that’s what it’s all about in life, imho. Thanks for your post and your much appreciated comment!

    1. frankeber Post author

      Thank you so much, Carol! If you ever come out make sure to visit the Sierras, especially the east side. You’ll love it! Thanks for your visit and the nice comment.

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