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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Colorado Landscape Series: Beavertail

This is another story of beauty on Interstate 70, between Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs.

October 13th, my mom's 91st birthday, was a golden day. As my husband, Robert, drove east on the Western Slope, this is what we enjoyed just before we drove through Beavertail Mountain Tunnel along the Colorado River. The contrast of color and texture between the purple rock wall and the colorful foliage was my inspiration for this painting.

24 x 36", Oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson (c) 2014

Stage 1: Drawing in the composition with a thin wash of paint.

Stage 2:  Blocking in the rock wall. I really enjoyed the fact that instead of a blue or cloudy sky as the backdrop for this idyllic scene, there was this incredibly dramatic, canyon wall. A perfect color contrast for the foreground of trees, grass and bushes.

Stage 3: Using a palette knife to add the second layer of color and texture.

I looked at all the main colors on the wall and with a palette knife applied those colors on top of the wet paint I had just laid down.

Stage 4: Once all the colors were down, I used a brush to pull them together.

Stage 5: Blocking in the foliage.

Applying more flat color for my under painting.

Stage 6: Adding the thicker second layer of paint over the wet under painting.

Stage 7: Once again, using a brush and palette knife, I pulled all the colors and edges into each other. I also added details like the tree branches.

Stage 8: I chose this purple for my under painting of the water.

Stage 9: Letting some of the purple show through, I came in and added the reflected colors in the water. After letting it rest a week or so, I reworked the wall a bit more and added a few more touches of detail in the trees.

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