Saturday, May 4, 2019

Creative Process - Rain on the Mesa

Rain on the Mesa
20 x 28 Mixed Media on Artists Canvas
Been a while since I have painted a canyon scene. My first love was canyons. I returned from a trip to Utah and found all my photographs, while good, just missing something. Photography had until recently been a tool to provide inspiration on paintings. Plein Aire was always too much of a slug.

Lately I have been into painting scenes closer to home: snow capped mountains, Aspens in the fall, antelope on the fat grass, etc. I have missed my more colorful palette.

Sky poured on canvas
 I always begin with the sky. Since I generally pour them to avoid all indications of a brush being involved it is easier to mask off the main part of the painting and pour the sky. The colors and mood which results sets the tone for the rest of the painting.

Then I lay in the colors of the foreground

Tackling the middle

Canvas covered/major color blocks laid out

There is a moment after the canvas is all covered when I am not entirely sure what to tackle next. I had begun this painting with an image of the foreground where I was going to use oil stick to provide texture.

Is it done stage

At last happy with the foreground I become critical of the sky again. In this case I did not like the sky around the sun all that much. And having committed to calling it Rain on the Mesa the rain needed to be punched up a bit.  Watercolor is fast and quickly drying. Oil stick takes longer to dry and I end up with more time to fuss with the painting before applying UV varnish. With painting I used qtips to lift some color around the sun and especially the dark at the point of the mesa. As well as detail work with watercolor pens and pencils.

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