Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Dragoon Mtns - pastel

This painting is based on a photo that I took during the trip to the Dragoons.  The photo itself never made it onto the Picasa gallery for a couple of reasons, but I felt it had some merit for a painting reference.  My sister suggested I paint it from the handful of photos I showed her for consideration. 

In keeping with my recent theme, it's got the road element.  The photo was taken in mid-day sun, which is why the face of the mountain is in shade.  I was interested in the shapes and patterns that the granite rock made with the surrounding trees (mostly scrub oak and juniper - no pines at this elevation), and the light hitting the very top edges of the granite ridges shown. 

For those not familiar with the desert plants of this region (which I'm guessing is most people reading this blog), the dark forms along the side of the road are yucca.  I wanted to leave them in, although I did some compositional rearranging from the original photo.   I left a small mesquite tree in, seen on the right side, and the two bare trees on the left, to add a sense of depth to the scene. 

The actual sky wasn't turquoise, as I have done it, but a cloudless blue.  I love turquoise skies, and while they aren't appropriate all the time, I wanted to use some new Richeson handmade pastels I just purchased, and this was the perfect excuse!

"Road Towards Council Rock" - 7.5 x 10.5"
Pastel on 400-grit w/d sandpaper


  1. I bought pastels today and thought of you!!! :D

    Love these of course...

  2. Ahahhaaaaa! I recognize those dragoons now... I had to double check your photos. Best Monte Python voice "say no more.. say no more..".. ;) (but I REALLY love them!)

  3. Yeah...hence the "editing from original photo" comment. But, there were other compositional changes I made as well.


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