El Rito Nocturne

This is an oil painting of the little town of El Rito northwest of Santa Fe, just as night was falling. I loved the sense of being a little out of time here, and was fortunate to catch a worker renovating the Martin’s building while he was taking a break. Here are some of the steps in the process:

I decided not to do a traditional underpainting for this, as each section was so different in color and value. Instead I roughed in an underpainting for a few areas. One of the first things that an artist has to overcome, I think, is how terrible the early stages of a painting can look!
I’ve come to like using markers to sketch out a painting, as they give me a better road map once I start painting in earnest. Some of this is oil, and some of the more detailed areas are marker.
This is the same process, just a little further along.There is just a hint, now, of the feeling of the scene when I was there.
Now it’s a painting, with all the marker sketch covered. A long way to go still! One thing I love about oil paint is how one can indicate an area somewhat crudely, and then later on go in and refine it, as opposed to watercolor (which I painted with exclusively for many years) which is not so forgiving.
Here I’m slowly working on the light and dark of the scene, as well as the weathered quality of the central buildings. There’s a lot of back and forth and reworking; once one area changes, it changes the area around it as well…
Here is the final painting, which went to a collector in Italy.

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