Mobile and surrounding areas are in an extended heat wave - it's been in the upper 90s with heat index over 100 for the past couple of days, with more to come through the weekend. In spite of the heat a couple of us actually made it out to the Battleship Park on the causeway yesterday. Our Plein Air South group has been meeting through the summer months and have tried to locate shady areas to paint in order to escape the heat. Ainsley McNeely, Suzy Fox and I met yesterday morning and we trekked out onto the birdwatching pier adjacent to the park. There are covered pavillions on the boardwalk with interpretive signs to assist in identifying the waterfowl. At the end of the pier is a double-decked covered pavillion. Suzy and I camped out on top and were able to catch the warm breezes, which almost made it bearable, and the sweeping views of the marsh and bay. Ainsley stayed sheltered below for more intimate scenes of the marsh. Here's my watercolor which was completed on site. I had fun using brushstrokes to depict all the different marsh vegetation, and lost my No. 4 sable brush overboard while adding the crane structures in the background. I'm also including a photo of the marsh view for comparison purposes. I'm not sure if I will do any more to this - maybe just a few extra detail touches in the foreground.
I had a couple of hours to recover yesterday afternoon before heading back downtown for the first session of a Figure Drawing Class at Space 301 Gallery, which is being taught by Ben Shamback (an art professor at University of South Alabama). This is going to be a great class - some of us from the Figure Group are participating in order to refresh our skills and glean some new tips. Here is one of my charcoal drawings from the first session. We were practicing getting our proportions correct and using convex lines in our drawings.