Brandywine Plein Air – Day Two

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copyright 2015 Erin Pryor Gill

On Tuesday, we painted in old town of Marshallton, PA. I chose to start out in the backyard of a historic home on Main St., painting a beautiful, well-maintained barn.  The owners told me that it was originally built in 1820, and then they added the overhang, an addition and porch on the side.

copyright 2015 Erin Pryor Gill

In a twist on my usual technique, I did a watercolor underpainting on sanded paper. This was super rough on the brush (I used a cheaper one, and had to wipe quite a few broken hairs off the paper after the paint dried), but had the advantage of locking down the architecture of the building and establishing some of the value range before starting the pastel. This enabled me to keep the layers of pastel a little thinner and more fresh feeling.


I ended up adjusting the direction of the light in the painting towards the end, as the sun had moved around and I preferred its position then to when I started. This piece is approximately 11″ x 15.”

copyright 2015 Erin Pryor Gill

After lunch, I finished up the barn painting and decided to look for a more organic subject that I could paint a little more loosely, since I didn’t think I had enough concentration left to do another perspective-heavy piece that day.  I settled on a gorgeous maple tree further down on Main Street, overhanging a stone wall. I worked small, on a 5″ x 7″ piece of sanded paper, starting directly with pastel and working fairly quickly.  There’s something about painting trees that I really love, and maples in the fall are so striking.

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