Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sipapu Natural Bridge

1.62 Sipapu Natural Bridge. Now that I'm finally back on track with the arch paintings I can get around to a series of paintings that I've wanted to do since my last visit to Utah in July. While there, I visited Natural Bridges National Monument for the first time. It is a small park, but packs in three of the largest and most impressive natural bridges that you will find in Utah. Natural bridges exist in a very different environment than most natural arches. A bridge forms due to flowing water and you will most often find them stretching over a riverbed where water wore its way through a cliff to cut off a goose-neck in the river. The presence of water creates a much greener environment around the bridge than you find high up on a cliff where most arches exist. Walking under Sipapu Natural Bridge, you view the massive span through holes in the dense trees.

A photograph of the canyons in this park can be almost unintelligible because of the layering of intricately carved sandstone canyons. I tried to sort out this confusing view by changing to color of the stone as it moved farther from the viewer. To explain this change in color, there is the approaching storm.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Paul Bunyan Arch

1.61 Paul Bunyan Arch. Painting progression. Back to my original subject! Arches. It has been a long time since I have painted an arch. Arches seem to look best at noontime when the sun is high and the arch casts shadows on itself. I noticed that I was adding lots of little bits of shadow to this painting and I tried to give the shadow more geometric borders.

The mass of stone on the right side of the painting is supposed to be much closer to the viewer than the rest of the scene. I tried to convey this with more vibrant colors and by making the area behind the stone completely immersed in shade. If this effect does not work, then it must seem very out of place.