Mar 14, 2012 painting canyons is hard...

I set out to paint in Zion and had success in that I actually painted but the paintings didn't turn out very well.  Painting canyons is hard!  Especially when you haven't painted in months.  But here is the thing.  If I want to paint a good painting, I will have needed to paint 4-6 paintings before it.  I just need the practice.  So although, these did not turn out very well, they will mean that I will probably paint better in the April Workshop I am attending as well as a painting trip I have scheduled in Wilmington, NC at the end of April.  I am hoping to have one 12x16 piece to donate to the MDA auction as well as paint a few pieces for my friend Karen for her new house in Wilmington.

Fingers crossed that these duds will pave the way to some winners next month!

Here are the details of my painting adventure in Zion!

I started out by not going very far from the hotel room. Our hotel Flanigan's Inn has an awesome labryinth atop a small canyon on the property. I hiked up there and was pleasantly suprised to find a picnic table.

They lead spiritual journey things up here.  I am not sure what these stacks of rocks are but I think they are related to that.

Here is the view I was going after.

Here is my very basic set up.  Love the simplicity!

When I paint I use the rule of thirds a lot.  I try and put my focal point in one of these areas - making the dots helps me stay on track.

Then I draw out my painting using red or blue.  Usually I do some red/orange underpainting.  But didn't do it on this trip.

For color, this is what the sky initially started out as.  I work to make colors from some combination of the primaries.  I always start with white for the sky and rarely start with it for any other colors in my painting.  I make 4-5 piles of paint of the main colors in my painting.

I used the piles below to block in the basic shapes for this painting.

Then I modulated...upon realizing this wasn't going to improve.  I stopped where I was and ended painting for the day to join Reed and Rudy in a sunset hike and picnic at Kolub Canyon.

Here we was cold but beautiful!

The next day Rudy headed to Bryce Canyon and I stayed back to paint.  Because I had the little guy, I opted to paint from our deck.  There were several views to capture and I could make the most of my time between naps.

Painting 2 - looking a little more canyon-esque.

Painting 3 - I called it quits after this one.

It would be easy to be disheartened when your paintings do not turn out very well.  But as I said, I have to paint 4-6 so so ones to get a good one.  It is just how it is.  I can't wait to pick up the brush again!

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