Santa Barbara Afternoon
1. There is no pressure to get it all done at the time. Making a quick sketch of a passing scene, or of waiting out on a cold platform for a train is good practice. Sometimes the more time I have to sit and paint, the more time I have to overwork the sketch or put too much in.
2. Having a simplified armature of a scene to paint allows me to explore color, value and composition in a relaxed, free and experimental manner. Not being tied to reality is a great benefit.
In this series of Santa Barbara sketches, I started out with my traditional perspective warm-up of the view from inside the train and a few sketches of the passing scenery. I can’t resist sketching a train station and this one is a beautiful historic structure restored to perfection. I did a quick study of the view from the restaurant of the sun peaking through the clouds, the distant harbor, and the waves crashing below us. A few clouds rolled in as we were sitting on the beach. Finally, another view of the station as the passengers gathered for an evening departure.