En plein air


This is an architectural drawing done en plein air while sitting outside a coffee shop over the course of two afternoons. Plein-air, according to the Webster's New College Dictionary, is French for "open air," an adjective "designating, of, or in the manner of certain schools of French impressionist painting of the late 19th century, engaged mainly in observed effects of outdoor light and atmosphere."

It was interesting how the sky and lighting were similar yet different over those two sittings, and it became clear to me that buildings in this river town have a sort of animated quality to them. I enjoy the freedom of drawing outside from life, as well as the expressive layered lines and cross-hatching that resulted from this freehand practice.

Lessons learned: Perfection is overrated, keeping the same central viewpoint is key, and it's fun to make art outdoors with friends.

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