Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Painted Desert #2

Today's painting - the completed "Painted Desert #2".   Painted with Alizarin crimson, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue and titanium white, which gives a wonderful muted palette of cool and warm grays.  Working on an underpainting that is essentially the same as the finished piece works well for me; it's how I painted for years doing mixed media equine sculpture.

I also detailed this out a bit more than the other paintings, both because the canvas is bigger, and because some detail, specifically in the small rock piles and caps, helps draw the eye around and unifies it a bit [at least this was my thought when painting it].

Painted Desert #2
9x12 - oil on canvas

Feeling ambitious, I did underpaintings for the next two in the series.  The first is loosely color-based; the second was a simple monochromatic using all the paint mixed to a earthy gray.  I can see modification (more sky) that needs to be made for the final painting, which is an easy fix.

#24 underpainting

#25 underpainting

And, finally, here are some photos taken on a walk I took down the Animas River Trail this morning, which is a fantastic multi-use trail that is probably close to 10 miles in length.  The Animas runs through town, adding to the reasons Durango is such a wonderful town to live in.

Cottonwood color close-up

Quartet of lady mallards
Not the best photo, but who can resist ducks - they always seem so happy!

Fall colors on the Animas

Late bloomer


  1. Wonderful painting and wonderful photos! In 'Painted Desert' the sky is marvelous and the colors in the rock formation - wow!

  2. Okay, I am serious. This series of paintings is among the best things I've seen this year on the net.

    I encourage you to go bigger (please).

  3. Helen - Thanks for your visit and comments! I vacillate between adding clouds or not to these paintings; in this case, I felt the wispy cirrus would be a good contrast to the solid, well-definied forms of the hills.

    Casey - Wow...I don't know what to say, other than a big, gushing "THANK YOU" for that compliment! When I started this series, I honestly wasn't sure anyone else would be interested, but since I was doing it for me, I didn't concern myself with that.

    The only problems with going bigger at this point are: 1) the space - paintings on canvas take up so much more space than pastels on paper; 2) the expense of the materials on my existing income. Finding a market to buy some of these would solve both of those issues :). I will keep moving up in size as I can; I think bigger would be better for some upcoming paintings, definitely.


Your thoughtful comments add value to this blog - thank you so much for taking the time to leave them!

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