I decided on changing the shapes of the foreground rocks and tweaking the other forms somewhat. Also you can see the first layer of color on the water. I want to make it look like still dark water with a glossy foreground bow wake....coming into 'sanctuary' for the night.
Since the rocks are nearly finished [except for fine touches]...I will be painting the water next. If all goes well it should not take long. I put a thin glaze on the water surface already...and when that dries...I will add more warm glazes and a few floaters on the glassy surface. The time of day and mood indicates a calm surface and a deep dark color with glowing reflections...now I just have to do it:)
Here is where this painting stands today...I decided to emphasize the reflected light coming into the cove from the left...it lightens the formations considerably..but since there is a lot of light in the sky yet...I think this will work. I added a few bushes on the slopes...and adjusted values again [and again]. Rocks are about 90% done...soon on to the water challenge!
I am into the refinement stage on the rocks now...the water reflections won't be painted until the formations are 90% finished. Time to get out my mediums and start mixing with the oils for the final layers. I will be using a high-gloss mixture of spike solvent, varnish, stand oil and turps for the water...and a damar varnish, stand oil, wax/turps mix for the rocks and sky [a much more matte medium]...this will add to the sandstone texture instead of all glossy. I also might pull out the palette knife for a few thick pieces of paint on the foreground rocks. Since there is not a lot of depth in this composition...I will use some texture for contrast.
I thought this painitng was going to be rather easy to do...no such luck. I am still working my way through the rock structures and trying to decide if I need to make it warmer or cooler. Slow going on this...here is the current version as of this evening. I am also in the middle of creating a new website from scratch...so my studio time has been usurped. Gotta be done tho!
Here is today's effort...more painting on the rocks and the dark dark underpainting for the water. After this dries somewhat..I will apply thin paint in lighter colors for the reflections...but the rocks need to be mostly finished before attempting this. Eeks.
Taking the underpainting from the previous post further...refined the drawing of the shapes and experimented with this uncommon limited palette: naples yellow, jaune brilliant, yellow ochre, orange ochre, mars violet, permanent madder, cobalt turquoise, cobalt blue and mineral violet....basically using the complementary pair...yellows and purples. I can mix wonderful soothing colors from this combination...the mood and light of this must be maintained by close values and subtle temperature changes within the shapes. Interesting!
Here is the initial underpainting of my current project...cobalt turquoise and magenta only...20x30 canvas. This will be painted from a photo I took while working at Lake Powell one summer while on one of my many houseboat expeditions. The concept is on feeling..the quiet hour at sunset looking for a good place to shelter for the night. The water is usually calm then...the desert winds dying down...the massive rocks veiled in soft grayed colors. Peace reigns.