About Richard: Richard’s purpose in painting is to provoke the viewer to interact with his pieces. His paintings are his voice, and stroke by stroke, he composes a whole that relates his vision. He strives to achieve a mood in every painting through the use of such visual stimuli as color, edges, value and drawing. He allows the setting to speak to him, creating only as many brushstrokes as are needed for the viewer’s eyes to understand and connect. richardoversmith.com
and answers to some questions::
You are known for your masterful impressionist oil paintings. Do you ever work in other mediums?
Yes, in fact I just did my first acrylic painting en plein air a couple months back. It was a bit of a struggle at first, but it started to feel easier as the painting progressed. I think it’s important for artist to get out of their comfort zone and try new things.
What are your favorite materials to work with including hardware and gear, surfaces, brushes, paints, etc. What is your color palette?
I guess the goal is to pare down the equipment as you do more plein air work. I have done that and currently use a Strada Easel with a ball head tripod. The ball head allows the easel to rest in any position (very handy). As far as surface goes I’ve been using Centurion oil primed linen panel for anything 16×20 or smaller. For the larger stuff I use stretched Claessens Belgian oil primed linen. I’m not real picky about my brushes, but I use filbert bristles in the larger sizes (8,10,12). Again, I’m not as picky as some when it comes to paint either. I’ve used Utrecht, Winsor Newton, Blue Ridge Oil and Gamblin. I’m using mostly Gamblin at this time. My color palette varies from time to time, but currently I’m using these colors on a regular basis. (Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Light, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red Light, Quinacridone Red, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Viridian)
While you often share plein air work, you also do a lot of studio painting with plein air studies as a source of information for larger studio works. What is essential to capture in a plein air study for a larger studio work?
I would say about 80% of what I’m producing now is studio work. I still take scenes to literal when I’m outside and when I’m in the studio I have the option of playing around a little more. The first essential of good studio work is 10,000 hours (slightly exaggerated) in the field. Also allow yourself the same amount of time in the studio as you would allow on site.
What and who has influenced your painting style?
I guess my biggest influences are the Impressionists. I’m really into Russian Impressionist, because they have nice designs complimented by bold brushwork. Everything I see in the world influences me.
What are you working on now in your journey as a painter? What challenges you?
When I first started out, 24 years ago, it was all about getting it right with correct drawing. Now I’m trying not to be perfect, but more poetic in my approach. I would also like to see what I could do with an abstract painting. I think my biggest challenges are jumping into a piece without a good composition. I also think I could work on edges more.
Plein air has become increasingly popular and seems to be in a period of resurgence. What do you notice, if anything, about modern plein air painting and how it is changing? What is emerging that you appreciate?
I really like learning from the past plein air painters, but I notice that the contemporary painters are striving more to be at that level. I think we lost the lineage of good representational teaching for a while, but it will return. I appreciate the current movement because it creates a network of artists that I wouldn’t know without it.
Is there anything that you would like to share with the group that you feel strongly about? What have you learned that you think would be a benefit to most artists that paint plein air that might not be commonly discussed?
I feel strongly about doing your own thing and creating your own style. The market is full of copycat artists and artists doing similar work. Be original!!!
What would you intend for the outcome of your demo? What do you hope participants take away from their time with you?
I hope to do a good painting and show people how enjoyable plein air can be.