A work in progress....the Sentinels


 Good morning everyone,

It’s a lovely day in Mendocino, a bit cool and overcast right now, but hopefully the sun will come out later. I’ll be painting all week long in this lovely part of the world in the “6th annual Mendocino Open Paint Out” with 60 other painters.

Today, though, I thought it might be a good idea to go into a little more depth on my painting process. The image you see here isn’t a finished painting just yet but here is my process. I’d say this piece in my “desert” series is about 60% done.

The substrate (also called ground) is a heavily sanded archival piece of very thick 12” x 9” UART paper. The “naked” color of the paper is pale buff. The mountains that you see were sketched in with a bluish- purple color hard NuPastel. The foreground was also sketched in with the same color. I then took a paint brush with a square tip to “wash” in the mountain hard edged shapes with turpentine. I did the same process for the foreground but with a rounded brush tip to give the appearance of organic plant life.

Once the piece dried, I then took varying colors of browns, yellows and pink Ludwig soft pastels, all in a closely related value to give the mountain shapes their 3D look graduating the value to a darker hue near the bottom of the mountain range. Once the major shapes took place, I then moved to the foreground and began adding a variety of colors to indicate the desert floor and plant life.

I then moved on to the Saguaros sketching them in over the top of the mountain colors using a variety of different greens and yellows both in hard and soft pastels.

That’s it folks. Stay tuned for the final piece!

I’ll be painting the rest of this week, doing some photography as well.

Have a great rest of your week everyone!