Small Format Outdoor Painting
Small Format Painting
MacAdam’s Selection of Colors
The method involves painting on a toned panel, often gray or mid-toned, to allow the colors, especially the lights to stand out quickly. This preparation stage results in a composition that might evolve into a larger work, often for MacAdam a piece with panoramic dimensions.
The preference for painting directly in nature rather than from photographs is clear; the latter only serves as inspiration when it triggers a vivid memory of the site and its particular conditions. Painting from life, allows for a deeper engagement with the environment and an intimate recollection of the experience while back in the studio.
Keep it Simple
Once back in the studio, these plein air sketches inform the larger canvases, with MacAdam adding just enough color to bring the painting to life without overwhelming it. This approach to working enhances the final piece, ensuring it remains true to his original vision.
These small panels, while not final pieces, are foundational, rich with subtle notes and nuances of a particular moment and place. They are the underpainting of a larger vision, capturing fleeting light and color. In the journey from plein air to studio, from small format to expansive canvas, MacAdam finds a balance between fidelity to the natural world and the unique expression that defines his work.