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Excellent Munnings Museum WW1 Recreation Day for Plein Air artists led by James P Power SEA.

This proved to be a really challenging but netherless productive painting day. You don’t often get the chance to turn back the clock and paint a scene from the past. Complete with star model “Romeo” stage name “Major”ex Kings Troup Gun Carriage horse, a good 16 hands and some! Cannot praise all models, human, canine and equine  enough – all were superb.

Great Plein Air learning opportunity on so many counts:

  1. How to paint a moving subject in changing light conditions
  2. What medium should you use
  3. Knowing when to stop and move to new angle
  4. How to take your studies to a completed painting

Some interesting notes on above points:

  1. To paint a moving object get the tones down asap. Tip from James Power “don’t worry about the colour get the tonal relationship down”. A good tip. It is easy to get bogged down in the drawing from the start, which is okay but you miss some of the light effects. I noted that some of the top Plein Air painters who turned up to practice the scene were doing very quick sketches picking up the mood (they were invited to paint next day… see later in this post).
  2. Probably a good idea to work in something fast like watercolour/acrylic inks, though it is possible to sketch in oils I am not quite fast/liberated enough yet to do this to my own satisfaction.
  3. You don’t have to go for the finished look, you can finish in the studio (which is what I did).  Lots of sketches to get a good composition and tonal record seems to be the best target to aim for.
  4. I did take some photos with my phone as the horse moved around. In the studio I didn’t like the detachment of horse and soldier. praticularly as the horse did interact a lot with the seated figure (I think polo mints played a psrt in this!). So I changed the composition see the before and after shot I used as the heading photo.

Exhibition of Paintings by invited Plein Air and Equine Artists

The day after I painted 16 specially invited artists were going to do the same scene. They had the day to do the sketches then 2 weeks to finish off in studio before submitting to the Munnings Museum for an exhibition and sale of their work.
Artists I saw included:
Haidee Jo Summers ROI
Sarah Allbrook top Plein Air artist
Melanie Wright (at the time artist in Residence at Newmarket Racing School)
James P Power SEA
Malcolm Cudmore

It would be worth checking in 2020 whether this event is running again at the Munnings Museum events and workshops page but it only goes up to November 2019 at the moment. But check it out there is a great plein air competition event in September!