Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Painting in the field can be a daunting experience. I purposely made this experience easier by keeping my paint application thin and adding grayer pigments to my palette to allow me to control chroma. I use turpentine instead of mineral spirits to allow my thin darks to thicken on the canvas allowing me to over paint with light colors. I also push my values toward middle values, away from darker tones, remembering to paint from dark to light.


  1. Hi Brad,
    You are addressing many of the problems I have encountered while painting outdoors on this and other posts. Getting too dark and painting too thick initially, for example. I also like the idea of painting on an untinted surface and using a white palette as a way of judging color and value easier. It is helpful to hear the logic behind your paint choices, particularly greens as they can be tough, here in Tennessee especially. It's green in every direction! Thanks!

  2. Nice work, Brad. I have always wondered how do you make sure your values and colors are correct when painting in the shade? Do you have to compensate in any way?

  3. Jim, glad I am covering some topics you're finding relevant. I am considering tinting my canvases with a very slight but bright pink, just to be sure those greens look as bright as possible (so I will tone them down a bit). Thanks for your comments.

  4. Stephen, I try to keep both my palette and my canvas in the same light. I prefer to have both in shade. It is critical to have the surface of your palette and the surface of your canvas the same value so the shadow will react to both surfaces identically. If you prefer to paint on a darkly tinted canvas you will need to have a darkly tinted palette as well, and both of them in the shade of your umbrella.

    Thanks for your questions. I will post more about outdoor painting soon.


Thanks for your comments!


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