California Plein Air Painting – Blue Heron Lake

Blue Heron Lake
9 x 12 oil on linen panel

This is another of the plein air paintings I did a month or so ago on our trip up through Central California. A small lake, with trees leaning down to touch the water. Yes, it was cold out there. Snow on the mountains and the wind whipped down and chilled us to the bone. One of the many other challenges of plein air painting is reflections in water. Every time the wind moves, the ripple pattern on the water changes, and that changes what is reflected and what is not. Still water reflects. Ruffled disturbed water does not. But changing wind currents puts the reflections in different places, see? At some point you just have to settle with one thing. Although this is named Blue Heron Lake, I didn’t see any that day. Maybe I’ll paint one in sometime. I have plenty of reference photos of herons in other locations, including at Descanso Gardens.

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