Let’s Go Outside to Create Artwork

viewing frame

A small viewing frame.

Has spring sprung where you live? It has in Texas, at least where I live. The bluebonnets and other wildflowers are showing up all along the country roadways. This is the perfect time to go outside to create artwork.

In fact, there will be a paint-out held at a park in Grimes County very soon. It will be at Washington on the Brazos for any of you that may be local. If you are local, head out April 10, 2013 to paint with other artists from the area. The Brenham Fine Art League is sponsoring this event to raise money for their scholarship fund. Therefore a $30 donation is requested from participants.Sorry for the commercial, but I am a member of the League and feel that they do a great job helping support future artists.

If it is nice outside, then spend an afternoon drawing or painting from nature. If painting sounds like too much trouble. Then just go out to sketch. I have taken my art classes out to draw with just a piece of paper, a pencil, and a drawing board. You don’t need much. You might consider a folding chair and a hat if it is going to be really sunny.

Something else you might want to take with you is a viewing frame or view finder. You may not be familiar with using one of these. A view finder is used to help the artist choose their composition. Because the outdoors is so large and there is so much to see, some people tend to get overwhelmed and have trouble determining what should be put in their drawing.

A viewing frame or view finder can help you limit the area in your design. Just look through the view finder for the composition you think looks the most pleasing. The edges of the view finder block out the rest. You can hold the view finder horizontally or vertically depending on the type of drawing or painting you want to do.

You can simply make a view finder for your use. It can be made out of paper, a large index card, or card stock. Regular paper makes for a very floppy viewing frame, so I would use something a little sturdier. If paper is all you have, then glue several pieces together to make it more sturdy.

To make a view finder out of card stock, cut your card stock to the size you want. A 5″ x 7″ would be a good size. Then measure and draw a 1 inch border around the 5″ x 7″ piece. Cut out the interior portion leaving just the one inch border or mat. You will need some really sharp scissors or a utility knife. Punch out the center and now you have a view finder.

in the parking lot at school

In the parking lot at school.

To use the view finder, hold it up in front of you. You may need to bring it closer to you or further away depending on the distance you want to show in your art work. Play around trying to find the composition that you think is the most pleasing.

In the image above, I am in the school parking lot. You can see how the view finder limits your view which essentially helps you design your composition. If you have never used a view finder, you might want to give it a try. Of course, it is not necessary.

Wishing you good weather for a very nice outdoor art day. Plus, Happy Easter! Have a good one.

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