Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bowtie Arch

Painting 1.26, Bowtie Arch, Utah. After my frustration with the last painting I wanted to pick a simple subject. Rather than trying to convey dramatic sunset or sunrise lighting I wanted to paint something under hot midday lighting, the way you'd actually see most of these arches. The shady area under this arch would be very inviting after a long hike with little relief from the sun. I also made the sky behind the arch a simple white to blue gradient without any brushstrokes to create ray-like streaks of light. The extreme rang of tones in most of the skies in my paintings is probably a result of my using a polarizing filter when I take pictures out west. A polarizing filter when oriented correctly will darken the sky in a photograph while leaving the horizon relatively light. Because many of the pictures I paint are from photos I have taken, I am used to the skies appearing this way and enjoy the effect.

I tried again to give depth to the painting with the "desert varnish" created using a wash of brown and black paint. It didn't look as natural as I had hoped, and the effect was diminished. I also struggled with the color choice to indicate that the foreground at the bottom of the painting was flat and not part of the rock wall. I thought that I lighter color would indicate more direct lighting from the sun, but perhaps it still isn't light enough.

Giclee Print

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