Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A family eating dinner, 1760s style.

I did this watercolor painting yesterday at Greenfield Village in Michigan, the living history complex established by Henry Ford. 

The costumed interpreters were eating a midday dinner in the fashion of Connecticut settlers around 1760. I asked if I could sketch, unfolded my tripod stool, and got busy in a dark corner of the room. 

A little LED headlamp shining on my work gave me some idea what colors I was using. It created an odd bit of anachronism for the other visitors to see a bloke bobbing his head up and down with an alien light source.  

What intrigued me about the scene was the cool window light flaring into the scene from the left, with another cool window source from the right, creating an interesting split lighting on the man's face. 

To convey the brightness of the window at left, I had to avoid darks anywhere near it. Note how the camera captured the same effect, with window light bleaching and devouring any small forms near it. 

Here's my portable expedition rig for both painting and making videos. I knew I would be walking four or five miles, so I didn't want to drag anything on wheels or lug a heavy easel:
1. Tripod stool
 with shoulder strap.
2. Compact tripod for video camera, Zoom recorder, or LED light, strapped to chair with bungie cord.
3. Paint rag tied to the outside to allow it to dry (looks a bit weird).
4. Belt pouch. Contains: pencils, brushes, water cup, gouache set, mini watercolor set, watercolor sketchbook, and LED headlamp.
5. Flip video camera
6. Zoom ZH1 sound recorder.
7. Still camera.
8. Canon Vixia camcorder


Tom Hart said...

Excellent post. Batman would be proud of that utility belt!

I notice that your gear didn't include an umbrella. Is/was that because in this particular case you planned to be in situations that wouldn't call for one, or do you generally work around the need for an umbrella? (Unless I'm mistaken that hasn't been a part of your kit recently...?)

Eugen Caitaz said...

It's very beautifull painting and interesting post!

Please you are welcome in my blog of my art!

Jacob A Stevens said...

How do you decide whether to bring watercolor, gouache, oils, or casein on your painting outings?

erc said...

Its always nice to see how easy it is for you to sketch in any location.