Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Vermilion Cliffs - FC-CP series

Finally completed is #30 in the road trip series.  This is all about the essence of the cliffs themselves:  angles, curves, edges, details and of course, the colors.  At this point, Hwy 89 runs right next to them and their size and grandeur can be fully appreciated.   The Chinle formation is particularly prominent here; it forms slopes and contours in all directions, and surprise splashes of colors - blues and deep roses - peek out here and there amongst the pale green-grays and pinks.

The Vermilion Cliffs
oil on canvas panel
[some glare from wet paint as I took the photo indoors, and it's a bit on the warm side despite selecting the proper WB]

For this, I made some changes in the palette after pulling out some of my paints and doing a color mixing sheet.   I don't know if everyone does this, but I certainly find it useful.  

Getting tired of the same ultramarine-cerulean blue skies, I used thio green to give a rich turquoise sky.  Thio green is a transparent pigment, but it tints wonderfully, probably due to its intensity.  I also eliminated the alizarin crimson and replaced it with one of my favorite reds - cadmium red deep, which is a cool, opaque red.  I used to mix it with burnt sienna and white to make the perfect equine "nose pink", but with less white and some cad. orange, it makes great Navajo sandstone.  

I also added purple lake, which mixes to form a less intense purple-gray for distal cliffs and a nice chromatic black when mixed with burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.  

I also threw in the other two greens in my collection:  sap and chromatic green.  There were also touches of some other colors I was experimenting with:  brown madder and cadmium red medium.  

Here is what the underpainting/first layer of oils looked like for #30:

#30 underpainting

And, finally - this evening's sunset.  This is the product of a cold front that was predicted to drop some snow.  There were flurries earlier in the afternoon, but no accumulation in town.  And, it's cold!  This is what a snow cumulonimbus looks like:  



By the time the sun was completely set, this entire cloud had vanished, literally, into thin air.  Amazing.

1 comment:

  1. Nice colors in the painting. What, no mummy brown?! ;)
    Those cloud pics...wow. You know how blown away (so to speak) I am by your cloud pics. Awesomeness.
    It's been very cold and snowy here for a couple of days. Such a shock after the ridiculously gorgeous weather we had there for like an extra MONTH longer than normal!


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