Thursday, January 20, 2011

Encroaching Shadows

Back to oils for a bit.  This piece was started before the pastels, but I decided to split it into two sessions, which turned out to be a Good Idea - I was able to fix several things that were bothering me in the first session.

More sandstone, shadows and snow.  And those glorious clouds!  In my computer room/office, the view faces east, and there is a large rocky hillside slope about 200 meters away.  It is currently covered with snow, and in the late afternoon, I watch as the shadows lengthen behind the pinyon and juniper and the full shadows gradually creep up, replacing the pale pinks, yellows and lavenders with cooler, darker blues.  This is of course what caught my eye and prompted this photo along the drive.

Encroaching Shadows
9x12 - oil on board

For this piece (and the next one coming up), I decided to pull out another of my seldom-used colors from my equine art days:  Indian yellow.  It is a very dark, intense transparent pigment that tints with white to a brilliant earthy yellow - just perfect for the yellows of these sunlit sandstone cliffs.  It's probably a more practical color for southwestern landscapes than the cadmium yellow light I had used in the past as my primary yellow.  It's also in the clouds and the juniper scrub.  Indian red, yellow ochre, purple lake, pthalo and ultramarine blue round out the palette here, along with white.   The biggest challenge here was to try and define the changing planes of the slope via subtle color shifts and brush strokes.  The shrubs help as well.

And, here are some photos from this morning's sunrise  moonset, taken just after I got out of bed.  Another 10 minutes, and I'd have missed it.  Isn't she a beauty?

Approaching the horizon
70mm - shot with 18-70mm f/4.5 Nikkor zoom lens

Full moon morning glow
200mm - shot with 55-200mm f/5.6 Nikkor tele zoom

Full moon going...

...almost gone


  1. Moon photos are out of this world and the painting is great!

  2. I really like your painting. The blue foreground and the sky set the cliffs off nicely.

    Great shot of the moon at twilight. Always a favorite of mine.

  3. Thanks, Susan - I was drawn to the way the sky/clouds really put the cliffs in center stage.

    I never get sick of twilight moons, either. Always a delight to see!

  4. Hi Sonya I was prompted to visit after reading Casey's post. I can see why he chose your blog.
    The moonset photos are wonderful - and I know I'll enjoy seeing your paintings.

  5. Hi Carol,

    Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comments - I appreciate them! I'm glad you enjoy these moonset photos as well; I hope I'll be able to do more in the future.


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

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