Morning, Canyonlands

This is a large (3′ x 4′) painting that I started a while ago and just finished, showing the valley and mesas on the way to the southern entrance to Canyonlands National Park one morning. It’s from a car trip back from San Francisco when my wife Melinda and I traveled through Utah, where she is from originally. I began it as an acrylic painting and got stuck for a while. Even using Open Acrylics, I had a hard time feathering edges and gradations of transparent color. Once I started painting in oils, the problems that I couldn’t overcome using acrylic seemed solvable to me, (still hard but solvable) so I was able to finish.

This is the initial sketch in acrylics.
Still initial work, with the sky darkened, and a little more detail added. 
Right about here was when I realized how hard this was all going to be.
I slowly started working on the foreground grasses and the mid ground line of trees. There is no way to do this without music.


Much more work on the foreground in this stage, and a little re-working of the sky and clouds. For someone who has worked for so long in watercolors, to be able to mess around and revise is pretty amazing! (Although it’s still pretty rough)
Now the sky and  clouds and part of the mesas have been repainted in oils.
This is the final painting, with everything reworked – and finally a proper scan as well.

6 thoughts on “Morning, Canyonlands

  1. roxannedarling

    Loved it! I tried to leave a comment but it said, Sorry, this comment cannot be posted.

    LMK if I can help with comment settings in WordPress.


    – – Roxanne Darling 808-384-5554


    Liked by 1 person

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