Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Over the weekend I went on a wonderful 6 mile walk through the Sussex countryside. The views never cease to amaze me when I find myself surrounded by undulating hills unfolding in various hues of gold and green.

As a child growing up in the hot flat land of Florida, I used to dream of places like this and wonder if they still existed in the world. I used to dream of running through green grassy fields with no one else around. When I walk through the hills here, I feel as though I am living that dream.

Plein air painting never much appealed to me, until I began walking through these fields. Now I understand the desire to capture a landscape in paint, because the vastness and color saturation spread out before you can never be adequately captured with a camera.

Luck would have it that my camera's rechargeable batteries died on me early on in my hike. I wasn't fortunate to have the foresight to predict my sudden turn of opinion about plein air painting, so I also found myself caught without any paints or coloring tools of any kind.

But I did have a pencil and a small sketchbook, so I sat and sketched the landscape before me. I made small notations as to color, thinking it would be a neat experiment to scan in the sketch and add some colors in Photoshop.

Here is the sketch -

Here are the digitally-added colors -

To my eyes now, the colors look too bright and phony in the above image. But I did this digital image the evening after my walk, and I felt then that the colors were spot on. The green really is that vibrant, that rich. Next time I hope I have paint to prove it.

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