Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Camel Butte

1.73 Camel Butte. I started this painting over 6 months ago. I was never really enthralled with the subject and I kept changing my mind about the colors. I started with a much darker rust color for the foreground stone. However, when I started to thin it out and add grey for the background I found that the background looked so bright that the foreground seemed to be entirely in the shade. So I redid all of the colors and started to work on the shadows. Unsure of what to do with the shadows in the foreground I tried to use intricate patterns of shadows to create the look of an alluvial fan spreading out from the butte. This made the thing almost painful to look at and, frustrated, I tossed it into a heap of unfinished canvases that seemed to always growing during that frustrating time. 

I returned to this painting on a day that I had off from work to see if I couldn't salvage what I had put so much work into. I redid the colors again and merged the venous shadows into one large area, imagining that there were some cliff behind the viewer casting a shadow on Camel Butte in the setting sun. I think that the background here is a lot more interesting than the foreground and I'll try to carry that over to a future painting. 

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