Frank Costantino, one of the organizers of the North Bennington Plein Air Competition, explained the rules for the Quick-Draw event to approximately 40 participating artists.
Paint anywhere in the grounds of the historic Park-McCullough House, start when you hear the bell at 1:30, and stop two hours later.
I was attracted to a 1938 Dodge Pickup. Besides being a gorgeous old truck, I liked the chiaroscuro: light-on-dark on the front end, and dark-on-light on the rear end to the right. I also wanted to feature the reflection of the illuminated grass on the shadow side of the vehicle.
In preparation for the bell, I premixed batches of color with the palette knife to save time later (that was legal).
One half hour into the painting, I drew in the big shapes with a bristle brush and blocked in the grass and background.
Halfway through, I knocked in the basic shadow color of the truck and the building. I was really sweating it at this point, thinking “I’ll never finish!”
I tried to look for similar planes, muttering to myself such things as “upfacing planes in the shadow of the truck.” The goal is to hit all of those similar tones at the same time when I had that color on the brush, rather than wasting time going back with the same thought.
Only a half hour left, I softened some edges, such as along the hood and the top of the cab.
Here is how it looked as the bell rang, with final details: highlights, headlights and hubcaps. Two hours went by in a flash; it’s hard to believe that’s the same amount of time as watching a movie.
Breathing a sigh of relief, we all put our results on easels. Here is Vcevy Strekalovsky, who did a gorgeous painting of the house. I was really inspired by everyone else’s work, and would love to come back again and paint the gardens or the carriage house.
North Bennington Plein Air Competition Quick Draw
More about the 1938 Dodge
Park McCullough House and Estate
Many more pictures of the Quick Draw at Mary Byrom's blog