I started off with the negative shapes of the tree then ' branched out' into a watercolour sketch . There were several people that stopped to look and some members of a walking group huddled round blocking my view! I'd like to say that's why it isn't a brilliant painting but I'm out of practice.
What is it about painting in a public space that invites comments from passers by ?
I've got used to it over time and don't mind too much but it can be intimidating if you're new to working 'plein air' . On this occasion it was the usual : ' you're so clever' ' my aunt /brother paints' , 'I couldn't do that' etc. They're usually complimentary and admire the fact that you're doing it all rather than critiquing the art you're producing ( I was once unnerved by someone silently watching for 10 minutes or so then saying ' That's a neat little paintbox' )
On holidays abroad eg Tunisia Ian has found me surrounded by silent locals or in Greece, cats.
My favourite quotes from walkers on the Pennine way whilst painting in Malham :' Why don't you take photos , it would be easier' to 'I'd like to take up painting , it must be so relaxing' . I meanwhile was trying to brace myself on a slope with my easel threatening to take off at any moment!
2 courses I did at the National Gallery that you learn so much about composition from using drawing to really look and analyse, even if the subject matter is not to your taste. One of my examples was published in this book but my more recent experiences have been looking at colour too. Definately a very useful exercise.