Point Lobos Study 1, 6 x 8 in.
Point Lobos Study 2, 9 x 12 in.
Last week I was able to travel to California to attend the Weekend with the Masters conference and workshop in Monterey. I spent four days soaking in everything I could in a fantastic learning environment, and painting in some very beautiful (but cold!) spots.
These are the first two studies I did--both in Kevin MacPherson's class, and both at Point Lobos. Kevin's emphasis in this class was on simplifying the outdoors--a lesson that continuously bears repeating. Doing a thumbnail sketch, or several, and keeping those simple, can help focus your composition. As Kevin pointed out, there are many things vying for our attention when we paint outdoors. Finding your darkest darks and your sunlight and shadow sides, keeping your lines connected (versus creating various separate shapes), and finding the rhythms that go through your composition help to keep a focused composition.
It was quite foggy, cold, and windy the first two days we were outside--think eight layers--so we got plenty of "gray days" studying in!