View Full Version : WIP - Sedona AZ

12-18-2007, 12:28 PM
:wave: I feel "stuck" at this point with this painting. I have a tendency to overwork, and am not sure what to do with the foreground. Should I try to make the light are into a path and put a figure on it for interest/scale??:confused: :confused:

I included some reference photos, but don't want to put too much green in the foreground, even though there are a lot of trees there. Should I try to develop a better center of interest?? I don't want to lose the bright colors of the rocks. :)

This is a WC on Arches, 15 x 22, rough, still stapled to the board. I am open to any suggestions. I am constantly wiping off paint and redoing areas; most of my paint ends up down the drain.:eek:

:) :) Thank you for any help!!

12-18-2007, 12:33 PM
Hi Joy - a good start!

I would of course darken the shadows, and I think foreground trees receding in scale would help indicate the immense size of the mesas.


12-18-2007, 06:24 PM
I really like the way you've done the rocks. If you think of your painting as three planes, the plane with the lightest values is in the distance with the beautiful sky and the red rock formations. The area in the center with the hills and lower red rocks is the middle value plane, which leaves the foreground plane for your deepest values. I think you can go deeply shadowed there like the reference photo on the top. I like how some of the red shows through and breaks up the deep, dark greens there. Those darks also make the lights in the rock formations stand out even more than they do now.

I think you already have a COI in the rock formation on the left and the negative space between it and the next rock formation. At least that is where my eye traveled to right away. If you darken the cast shadow you already have there, it would become an even stronger magnet for your viewers' eyes.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of your work on this painting. It is a terrific beginning.


12-18-2007, 07:55 PM
I can only echo Sylvia, she give so an excellent critique..:)


12-18-2007, 09:32 PM
:wave: Hi! Joy, When I get this stuck and actually like what I have accomplished so far, I consider a crop. Cover maybe 1/3 of the way up with paper, and consider the composition for complition of that space, it may work to cut down on the vastness of the yet unpainted space to save the view of the mesa which is your focal point. the rectangle shape of the piece with the right matting could even be 3" to get the feeling of distance. I like the look of the Mesa, you have captured the magnificence of this landmark. Regards, Marianne

12-18-2007, 10:24 PM
No suggestions, I just wanted to tell you that I love what you have so far.

Not much help, am I?


12-19-2007, 01:01 PM
:wave: :wave: Thanks for all of the suggestions and encouragement; I have a tendency to get very discouraged with my work and I really appreciate the support at WC.

I :heart: :heart: :heart: the suggestions from Doug and Sylvia about the darks in the foreground. I may complete the foreground (or attempt to) and then see if it needs to be cropped. I was feeling that there was too much "dead space" in the foreground, but I should have planned that better . Tony Couch's books have said something to the effect that if the middle ground has your COI, gentle gradation may be all that is need in the foreground. I have a tendency to keep doing too much and things get too dark.

Here is a version, as per Marianne's suggestion, that is cropped.


I will post this when it is done. I know we are limited to one new thread daily. Is it permissible to post in the Watercolor Gallery and the Southwest Art Forum? Thanks again!! :) :) :) :)

Peggy SCx
12-19-2007, 08:53 PM
Hi Joy, I like how you've handled the rock formations. They capture the color and feel of those southwestern rocks. You could always do two versions -- one with trees and one without. I'll echo the posts above. I think dark, muted trees up front would add depth and scale. Either way, you have a wonderful painting of an extraordinary place.