A Cold Morning on Lake Union

Lake Union (plein air). 8x10, oil and cold wax medium. 2016

Lake Union (plein air). 8x10, oil and cold wax medium. 2016

On my way to the studio this morning I stopped off at Lake Union Park in Seattle to do a small study of the view across to University District.

It was cool to watch the seaplanes landing in front of me while I worked. Although I am very partial to depictions of aircraft in art, I managed to show some restraint and keep them off the canvas.

The conditions were variable, so I started by laying in the pattern of blues in the sky and the darks of the distant shoreline. I added the buildings and shoreline detail when the sun was shining.  As usual the clouds represent a kind of average, I stole bits from each cloud as it passed.

The palette I used this morning was a little different from others I've used when painting on the water in Seattle: ultramarine, radiant blue, burnt umber, yellow ochre and a tiny bit of red. The choice of burnt umber enabled me to mix grays very quickly. A wise decision, it turned out, because I was freezing. 

Plein air painting at Lake Union

Here's a photo of everything nicely lined up. The painting's still being worked on at this point.


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