Brandywine Plein Air – Day One

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copyright 2015 Erin Pryor Gill

I was excited to participate in a plein air event this past week — Plein Air Brandywine Valley is a painting and photography competition, show and sale, where artists paint and photograph scenic properties of the Brandywine Valley. The event benefits the Children’s Beach House.

copyright 2015 Erin Pryor Gill

The week started off cold — on Monday morning it was 31 degrees with thick frost on the ground. Beautiful for the photographers in the event, but not as nice for the painters who have to stay in one place.  I had my long johns and extra warm socks on though, and started off with a smaller pastel of the newly-risen sun over the frosty fields. I tried UArt sanded pastel paper, which is a new thing for me. Once I got used to the very gentle touch required, I really liked the intense, smooth colors it produced.

copyright 2015 Erin Pryor Gill

Thankfully, the sun got warmer and warmer as it rose, and by lunch time it was very pleasant out. I shed my down coat to start another painting.


For this piece, I went back to my tried-and-true method of watercolor underpainting on rough Arches watercolor paper, with pastel on top.  I like the way the rough surface allows the underpainting to peek through.


Once I finished this piece, I tried to squeeze in another painting before the sun got too low, but the quickly dropping temps and my exhaustion were a bad combo, and I eventually packed it in and headed back to try to get some rest before Day 2.

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