I spent a moment by a creek in Yosemite lightly sketching the light illuminating the trees and winding along the surface of the water – you can see the whispers of my pencil marks in lighter areas. Then I sat cross-legged on the sandy shore with my travel watercolors on one knee and my sketchbook in the other and quickly laid down the basic light blue of the sky and turquoise color of the light shining through distant trees in the background. I focused on the major shadow and light shapes and a simple color palette, keeping the paper very wet so that the colors would bleed together. The final stroke was a big wash of blue along the right side and bottom right corner to glaze in the shadow I was sitting in. Plein air painting forces me to work quickly to capture the impression, and as a result, it helps me be fully conscious the moment and soak in natural beauty of the landscape.