©2011 Steve Penberthy
Watercolor on Strathmore 140-lb CP paper
9" x 12" (22.9 cm x 30.5 cm)
I sketched this plein air in a cool shady location in Forest Park, St. Louis. I've driven by this particular area of the park many times, but I never realized this little spot existed before today. There are a thousand paintings to be painted here--there is jaw-dropping scenery everywhere one looks.
I enjoy painting plein air, but I haven't done much of it for a while, which added to the already inherant challenges with this scene. The scene was a "wall of green"--green everywhere I looked. So I abstracted the colors to break things up chromatically. Also, the scene was very complex, so I had to simplify things extensively. I'd like to practice more with this type of painting and hopefully I'll have more opportunities to do so this summer.
I saw lots of herons, egrets, and ducks while painting at this watery area of the park. In fact, one of the ducks walked up to me and stood about three feet away from me, patiently waiting for a handout. However, he slowly moved on once he figured out I was too busy painting to give him any bread crumbs...