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Sunday, November 26, 2023

Canyon Abstraction: Crevice

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**Authentically Human! Not Written by AI**

"Crevice" 16x20 Oil

Not long ago, I sold a large painting from my Canyon Abstraction series.  It was one of a trio that I had hung in the bedroom, and I have been missing it like an old friend.  This past month, I had some free time and decided to paint it again.

I pulled out my pandemic gouache journals, which had most of the color studies I needed.  I also printed out a copy of the painting I sold, plus a few photos of this particular part of the canyon.  Interestingly, the only reference I ended up using was the photo of the original, and I used that just for the composition, not for color or form – all this other information was conveniently held in memory, thanks to having spent much time sketching in the canyon over the last few years.

I started off by toning my 16x20 panel with Gamblin's Transparent Earth Yellow.  This is a beautiful, luminous yellow that served well as a base color for the canyon wall.  After that, I used Burnt Sienna and Viridian to create a warm dark for the shadows and cracks, and Cerulean Blue Hue for reflected skylight.  Finally, I used touches of Naphthol Scarlet and Cadmium Orange to indicate hot spots of reflected canyon light in the shadows.

After my first pass at color, I shot a photo of the panel and used my photoediting app (Krita) and a Wacom Intuous tablet to do a little digital painting.  I wanted to experiment with color and get a sense of where I might go in the next stage.  I liked the result, and I used some of it in the finished painting, such as the cool pinks in the edges of the wall and the cool, blue-green stains on the rock.  But as much as I enjoyed my digital painting session, my preference is for using a real brush to push around thick oil paint.  Even so, I found the detour useful, and I'll probably do it again.

Another tool I used was the new "gesso and ground blade" from Gamblin.  Neat tool, which I also used in this painting for spreading paint over large areas and also scraping back areas.

Gamblin's Transparent Earth Yellow

Initial Drawing

Blocking in Darks plus a Few Lines

Adding Some Color

Wacom Tablet and Digital Painting

The "Digital Version" of the Painting
(Note that in the final version of the oil, I
departed slightly from this.)

Scraping with the Gamblin Tool

The Gamblin "Gesso and Ground Blade"