You know the old saying: "If at first you don't succeed, try-try again". That's the theme of today's post, and I thought I'd share the story behind this painting because: 1) there are probably several others that can relate; 2) maybe someone else will be able to apply this to a future situation in their studio instead of throwing in the towel (which I was oh-so-close to doing).
The successful result:
|Sandstone Mesa Shadows|
pastel on Somerset Black Velvet paper
After having such a great time painting Corona Arch, I decided to stay with the Moab area theme for the next painting, and settled on a photo I took from Potash Road Friday morning, on our way to Corona Arch. This road follows the Colorado on the west side, and this view is from an area called Poison Spider overlook and looks to the east towards Kane Creek Rd:
|Yeah, I think it will work...|
I decided to turn the first attempt into an alcohol underwash and try again. Here's Round 2, when I determined I hated it and contemplated tossing the thing in the trash:
|Oh, the horrors!|
The sanding removed a lot of the annoying texture and the pumice ground added the Goldilocks amount of grit to allow for a perfect amount of layering and blending. The ghost image was washed away when I applied the pumice, and resulted in a gray, rather than black, surface.
And, since I don't believe in banging my head against the wall repeatedly, I decided to abandon the original reference and go with a photo taken late in the afternoon along a side trip we took along the Needles Overlook road. On the way back to Hwy 191, the light hitting this Navajo sandstone mesa was amazing, and I knew I had to paint it. The composition was simpler, which also helped. And, glory be - I actually had compatible colors. Success was mine at last!
For giggles and grins, here are the pastels I used that I actually thought to take photos of before they got re-trayed:
|Sky and clouds|
I guess the take-home message from this is that, if you are one who experiments with new surfaces and you find they aren't working with your techniques or painting style, don't be so quick to toss it, and consider modifications that might make it useable.