Plein Air Painting in the Fog

Plein air painting in the fog
“Foggy Pond” for lack of a better name.

My friend and I met a little earlier than usual (6:30 a.m.) at our usual spot (mall parking garage) and drove out to our usual area (1 1/2 hours west of Houston). But this time when we exited the Interstate to head off on smaller highways, 2 lane roads and dirt roads, we encountered something unusual: fog!

Who would have thought fog would be exciting? There wasn’t much of it but we found a low spot along a highway where the fog was gathered and it had a beautiful effect on this scene with the pond.

Texas plein air painting in the fog
Painting fast!

Painting fast

I had to move fast and I did! The main thing was to capture the colors, I could worry about detail later. I didn’t want to have half my painting done under foggy conditions, then have the fog lift, and paint the rest of the painting with sunny conditions. This is one of the challenges of plein air painting; the weather and sunlight change fast, especially in the early morning and late afternoon.

So I put down color as quick as I could, sometimes mixing and painting over a passage 5 or 6 times to get the right color! But the more I paint, the easier it should be to get the right color. I hope, anyway. The idea here was to put down an impression of what I was looking at. (Ever wonder where the word Impressionism came from?) Let me look up the word.

Here you go.


Impressionism: “a style or movement in painting originating in France in the 1860s, characterized by a concern with depicting the visual impression of the moment, especially in terms of the shifting effect of light and color. A literary or artistic style that seeks to capture a feeling or experience rather than to achieve accurate depiction.

So we painted, and then the fog did lift (quicker than I had hoped). The hard part is to walk away and stop putting down paint once the light has changed. This is really hard! I don’t always do it but I’m learning.

We have named this pond “Foggy Pond” for lack of a more imaginative name. When we refer to it, or drive by it (even on a sunny day), we call it the foggy pond.

A beautiful morning painting in Texas
A beautiful morning in Texas.

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