Thursday, 18 March 2010

Grand Canyon WIP

I've begun working on this 20" x 16" oil from one of the images that I made on our recent trip. It's a difficult piece because of its complexity and having spent a couple of sessions on it I'm having to leave it for two days because of other commitments so I've posted it as a work in progress, hoping that someone might give me a push in the next direction.

At last I'm getting a little closer to creating a reasonable range of values, indeed that was where I began this piece, blocking in the shadows. The blocking in process is so important in establishing the foundation for an adequate painting and I am thankful to the example of a number of colleagues on Wet Canvas for the input of their expertise. For anyone interested the web sites of Michael McGuire and Larry Seiler have helpful posts showing their works in progress. They make great learning pieces.

Over to you, how can I improve this?

Grand Canyon - Oil on canvas board 20" x 16


Peter Ward said...

That looks very, very good Mick. I'm certainly highly impressed with your oil paintings. If you don't mind me saying so they seem to be your forte rather than watercolour. Peter Ward

Bill Cramer said...

Nice work Mick. You have picked a very difficult subject. The Canyon is hard enough, but the difficulties rise sans horizon. Without that orienting visual anchor the composition and drawing has to be well executed. One problem I see right off is that the central mesas seem to share an edge on the left, they appear to join. This seems incongruous to the space created on the right side of them. You seem to be getting how the cliff bands and slopes wrap around and help define the canyon features. Study these closely and note how they change when going in and out of the light. Do you use much white when blocking in? I try to use none or very, very little and only in the more distant parts. A strong underpainting can be soften using white modified colors afterwards , but it is almost impossible to go the other direction if you get my meaning. Long post, but I struggle with these same issues all the time and wanted to share tham with you. Keep it up!

Mick Carney said...

Peter - Thanks for the comment. I'm working on my oils at the moment because of the subject matter. I'll be back with the watercolour soon and hopefully lessons learned with the oils will translate.

Bill - Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise. Your treatment of this type of subject has been an inspiration. The points you make are well made and I'm going to attempt to address them when I return to the piece. It's always good to have a fresh eye pick up the problem areas.