The Plein Air Sketch, Train Edition

It was a windy day and busy with trains. An appointment was pending, and time was short, but I was okay with that. It was time enough for a plein air sketch.

Completing a painting while outside isn’t always possible but don’t let that stop you from going out. The best way to deal with a short outdoor painting session is change your goal of what you want to accomplish.

Think of your painting as a sketch and not a finished work. In a sketch you usually are working on one or two specific ideas and you let everything else become secondary.

bridge plein air sketch
Bridge Plein Air Sketch oil 6×8

In this sketch I was mainly concerned with composition and noting the colors. You can see that I didn’t even bother putting in the double lines of the tracks as I was focused on their direction and color.

A good way to manage your time when it it limited is to use a large brush, maybe even one you might consider insanely large that you would normally never use for that size of panel.

Another way to be prepared when your day off turns into an hour off, is to always carry more than one size of panel with you. That way you can switch to something smaller and not waste the time you do have.

The next time you get caught in a time trap, don’t despair, sketch!