I had a much better plein air painting experience today. I arrived at the Gardens when it opened and despite having some difficulty in deciding what to paint, finally settled on the large Banyan tree near the Children's area. I have been wanting to paint this particular tree for awhile, so the timing seemed right. Fortunately I was able to position myself in the shade and off the sidewalk - the latter being a rule in order to not block the visitors - which also ruled out a number of really great view options, but what can you do.
I thought I would try to do a quick value sketch, but realized that trying to accurately draw and shade the tree roots would take forever, so opted to just jump into the painting, which I think was the right thing to do.
I started with a wash of blue acrylic to just mass in the vertical trunks and provide a framework for the trees, then drew into that with a watercolour pencil, then kept trying to get some paint everywhere on the canvas, while slowly defining the wonderful maze of roots, as best I could.
I had not planned to go crazy with colour, but things just happen.
The painting did start to come together but the tree roots continued to be a challenge - and at several points I had to draw and then re-draw their edges - and the lower foreground still needs to be completed, as well as the background. All in all, a good day and I am looking forward to tomorrow.