I was excited to take myself on a field trip Saturday, May 5, to head to the high cliffs nearby and take a shot at the spectacular full moon that was promised.
I loaded up my oil painting gear and my small pastel kit and was at the Lanai Lookout on our Eastern shore by about 4:30 PM. Folks were already assembled to watch the much-anticipated moonrise over the ocean, and so I was fortunate to grab a parking spot, and from there hiked with my gear about a quarter mile across the old basalt flows to a high point that I’d decided in advance was a good place to work from.
From previous posts, you may know that I try to define my mission in advance. By this I mean that I decide whether I’m going sketching (looking for a general effect), making a study (fact-finding), or doing a finished painting. Since this was a sketching trip, I brought small oil primed panels along, as well as pastels, hoping to capture colors that would be of help later. Because of the brevity of the sunsets here in Hawai’i, I already realized that seizing any shapes, except the simplest ones, would be more than I should expect.
As the wind was quite strong on my location, I opted for oil, and I didn’t get anything terribly fancy, but was pleased with having caught the general color mood. I worked as hard as I could, loving every second of it. The sketch (9 x 12″) was done with Liquin as a medium, which I rarely use outdoors in Hawai’i, but it helped in this case. This small piece will serve as an important reminder of the color I experienced for anything I do later in the studio.
By the time this oil sketch was done, it was too dark for more painting, so I hiked out, loaded up my gear and backtracked in my car to another favorite piece of shoreline about a mile back. For perhaps the next hour, I sat on the shoreline making mental notes of the rocks, the action of the ocean against them, and the effect of the light, which gradually become much cooler as the evening turned to night. Drawing was hopeless, but I felt that I had formed a pretty strong mental picture of the values and colors.
The following evening, I returned in the very late afternoon with my pastel sketchbook to make some quick sketches, such as this one.
I didn’t have the moonlit effect in quite the same manner as the previous night, but had already fixed in my mind what the effect was, and began the following morning to produce this pastel study, 14 x 18″, in-studio from my sketches and memory/imagination.
This should serve me pretty well if I decide to work up a more involved and larger painting from the experience. Right now, I’m able to envision a large pastel or something along the 30 x 40″ size in oil.