View Full Version : Arroyo Shadow - from plein air to studio WIP

NM Painter
09-10-2008, 02:35 PM
(X-Post from Landscapes Forum)
I've been trying to 'get up close and personal' with both plein air and Golden Open Acrylics, as I've signed up for a plein air workshop in Taos that starts on Sun. Here is a painting on 11"X14" gesso board, done with OPENs, started in the arroyo (first one), and continued in the studio. I was able to paint in 15% humidity and blazing sun for about 2-1/2 hrs. before the paint on my palette got too tacky (I deliberately didn't add thinner to keep it open, as I wanted to see how much time I would have with just Open gel medium.)!! This is nothing short of a miracle for a high desert painter!

I was mainly interested in the strong shadow/arroyo/vegetation shapes in the intense light of late morning.

I would love any comments and crit on these.




09-10-2008, 03:18 PM
Really nice paintings, I like the hazy look the middle one has :)

Charlie's Mum
09-10-2008, 04:40 PM
You've captured that strong, bright, intense light so well - love that! the colours work really well fo it.

Not sure the shadow reds as shadow - it's a bit more like vegetation to me - but just my opinion!!!

The whole painting is 'alive'!

NM Painter
09-10-2008, 04:58 PM
Thanks, Andy. I appreciate your encouragement.
It was really amazing to me to see the change that happened when I moved from painting with my canvas in bright sunlight to painting in the studio under mixed halogen and compact fluorescent. I'm not sure I would have noticed if I hadn't taken the WIP photos.

NM Painter
09-10-2008, 05:01 PM
Thanks, Maureen.
Maybe some more purple in that big shadow as opposed to green...? I think you are right. I'll try that.

09-10-2008, 08:30 PM
:wave: Hi Mercia!

There's a lot to admire in this painting. I love those middle bushes and their shadows. Nice depth! The tree to our right is also wonderfully, as Maureen said, alive! The strong sunlight through the center of the painting reads well and right. I do think the foreground shadow needs some softening though. Other than that, it is a fine work! I'm so happy for you that you've found a way to paint in the heat without having your paints dry out! I just got my 6 tubes of OPENs in the mail last night. Did about 1/2 hour of experimental painting but am anxious to give them a REAL try soon! :D


P.S. Hope you have a great time in your upcoming class!

09-10-2008, 10:37 PM
Hi Mercia. How lucky are you to live in Santa Fe? I love that place. We go through it twice a year on our snowbird trek to Colo/AZ. We have an arroyo behind our house in Az so it all looks familiar. Looks like a manzanita tree on the right and the ever present sage or creosote bushes in the arroyo. Nice work on this..........Lenore

NM Painter
09-14-2008, 01:57 PM
Thanks everyone! Here's the (I think) final version and a photo taken just before starting the plein air. As you can see, I do a lot of editing and simplifying:



C&C Always welcome!

09-14-2008, 03:10 PM
I love the style that you have for this scene, emphasizing the best elements of it. Great job!