Part of why I failed to make more significant progress on Slater's Mills, yesterday, is because I went with friends to paint at Deer Island, in the Merrimack River, between Newburyport and Amesbury. Knowing that there would be long grass along the shore, I chose to tint an 8" x 16" canvas a reasonably strong shade of burnt orange (Old Holland Transparent Red Oxide).
At the site, I spent about an hour on the grisaille. As you can see, when I wiped out several bits I got right back down to white canvas. Usually I would let the tint dry overnight, and then paint in the field on a dry canvas. But this time the spontaneous decision to go to Deer Island precluded that. We work with what we have, oui?
Nonetheless, because I didn't want the still-wet orange color to mix with the other colors which I would subsequently use, I decided to stop at this stage, and to wait for the surface to dry before I really began to paint.
This morning, it was entirely dry and I could begin to get some real color onto the canvas in the studio. If you're wondering why I wrote that I chose the orange tint because of the long grass, have a look at the post a few days ago about sgraffito. I knew that I could get some of the texture of the grass, warmed as it was by the afternoon sun, by scratching through my top layers. The newly-revealed, thin orange lines would give the effect I wanted.
There's still some more to do in the studio, but this begins to tell the story of this section of the Merrimack on a lovely July afternoon.