Thursday, May 12, 2011

Spider Rock Triptych

Spider Rock Triptych
I did it again. Another triptych. Somehow they remind me of the exercises assigned when I was getting my fine art's degree. And to have all the information I need in case I have to do a theme paper on it I recorded the steps and, in this case, missteps.

Ready to transfer drawing

The drawing in and of itself isn't easy. Landscapes must be rearranged so that each piece is a painting in its own right but all three go together to form one. First mistake here was the base of Spider Rock. The curve made for problems.

The poured sky

I liked the sky but clearly it was going to be night and it was a moon and not a sun. But heck if I can move mountains and canyon walls why can't I move sun and moon?

Original color scheme

And I may do one in these colors in the future with a cloud dotted summer sky. But it was just not working with the sky or the base of Spider Rock. See the little piece of the base that juts into the right panel? That had to be changed clearly and the brown. One of the advantages of water media on watercolor canvas is that it is more forgiving but this triptych was going to challenge just how forgiving. You can actually lift some colors off. I decided to go with a setting sun ergo the canyon itself should be dark.

Cliff faces and bottom of canyon put in shadow
And I lifted off most of the brown on the bottom of Spider Roch but it didn't solve my hump into the right panel. The purple and blue washes over the yellow of the canyon in the background, however did set the Spider Rock off as the main focus of the piece. I think it looks like two regal women standing tall.

Toned down walls
Rather embarrassed to mention how long the triptych stayed at this point while I debated the color of the foreground. Not all the creating in a painting has to do with brushes.

Thin white washes added to far canyon to give distance
And I corrected that annoying base of spider rock. Details added to punch up the front. Lines on Spider Rock make them look more like women gazing at the moon but not obviously so. Wanted to keep the mystery. It is only my spiral stars missing at this point and some refinement of the stars and a touch up of the cliff dwelling hiding in the walls in the center panel.

This was definitely a learning experience.


  1. I especially like the ruin in the left panel!

  2. I will have to come back to this one - lap top going in a minute!!! At first glance looks splendid.


I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.