Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Painting the Grand Canyon with a Teensy Knife, Part 2

Sunset Glow, 12x16, oil - contact Michael

I've been working in the studio on what may be my final Grand Canyon painting for the season.  Although this is a studio piece, I used a variety of photo and plein air references from my last couple of trips to the Canyon.  The reference photos don't do the scene justice, but the plein air sketches, thankfully, give me lots of accurate color notes that I was able to use for this project.

What I'm finding particularly fun to play with in these paintings is the way rock colors change from foreground to far distance.  The sunlit passages, for example, go from hot cadmium yellow deep and cadmium red in the closest rocks all the way back to a cool mixuture of white, cadmium red, ultramarine blue and a touch of chromatic black.  The shadowed passages go from mixtures of alizarin crimson, phthalo emerald, ultramarine blue and chromatic black in the closest rocks and then back to a mixture of white, alizarin red and ultramarine blue. There is a lot of variety in these mixtures, though, and sometimes I mixed more intuitively than with thought.  It's possible to do that when you set your palette exactly the same way every day.

I also enjoyed working with the knife again.  Here's what my palette looked like when I was finished, followed by detail shots of the painting.

1 comment:

Rietaf said...

Thanks for sharing this exquisite painting. I am so impressed with the dynamic vitality your knife paintings have. They seem to vibrate with color. I wish I could see this in person, if a photo can be so impressive the real thing must really be amazing.