Saturday, November 12, 2011

Goosenecks of the San Juan

1.51 Goosenecks of the San Juan. Painting progression. After finishing the last painting, I decided that I'd like to do more paintings that did not show the sky. The landscape of the southwest does not offer many clues to the scale of what you are looking at. All the normal objects that one would use for size comparison are few and far between: trees, animals, houses. One way that you do realize the size of what you're looking at is the way that distant objects seem to fade into the haze. Their colors become less vibrant and their shadows lose contrast. Sometimes things seem to be so far away that the sun has already set on them while you're still watching the sunset at your current location. That was the look that I was trying to convey in this painting.
For some reason I didn't use any solid colors in this painting and instead found that I liked the look of wavering streaks of color. This was due to the appearance of the cliffs that I was trying to depict. They weren't clean hewn walls of stone but rather slowly crumbled slopes. All sizes and colors of rock were mixed in along these slopes with hints of the underlying stratification peeking through. I tried to counter the messy look of the rock with clean and definite shadows.

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