Thursday, 17 January 2013

December/January Challenge

Due to the hectic Xmas/New Year period Mick Carney and I decided to extend the challenge over two months instead of one. To recap each of us selects a photograph on alternate months and we produce a painting which we subsequently post on our blogs. For this current challenge Mick selected the subject which I suspect is Monument Valley in the USA - actually he calls it Red Rock country - which he visited in 2011. Added 17/01/13: Actually it's Sedona - famous for the red rocks.

20" x14" Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140lb (300gsm) Not

I had considerable difficulty with this subject. I really wanted to produce something more creative but after pondering how to tackle it over two or three weeks, decided to adopt a fairly conventional approach. The obvious features are the mountain and the bush or tree. The rest is just window dressing and I had no intention of trying to represent all the scrub and bushes in any detail. Initially I made a simple pencil drawing with little detail. Then, against my normal practice - although I am beginning to do this on certain paintings - put a pale variegated wash over the whole paper. Even with blocks this causes some buckling but the paper mostly flattens when it dries. Colours used were mainly yellows and greens. The yellows, Raw Sienna, Gold Ochre (W & N PY43), Quinacridone Gold (DS PO49), Yellow Ochre (Graham PY43) and Raw Umber. The greens were mainly Hookers (Graham PG7/PY110), Sap Green (DS PO49/PG7)), and  Green-Gold (Rowney PY129). There is some Quinacridone Rust (Graham PO48) on the mountain and also Burnt Umber in the shadow areas. And Ultramarine Blue was added to Hookers for the dark areas around the tree trunk. The sky is diluted Cobalt Blue initially applied as part of the variegated wash..

Brushes used were the Rosemary Kolinsky mop for the variegated wash and the Isabey 6228 Kolinsky 6 & 8 together  with the Da Vinci 44 Artissimo No2.

I'm moderately satisfied with the result, as it isn't my favourite type of subject. Perhaps I've been rather heavy handed in places, something I need to address.  


Anns Art said...

Nice work Peter. You have introduced interesting colours here (it would have been very easy to have got trapped in a 'one solid block of colour' for the mountain. Making the shrub on the right dark has helped to show up the tree too.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for your kind comments Ann.

Mick Carney said...

You've taken a slightly different approach to mine. The thing that attracted me was the tonal variation in the butte and I tried to depict that. Your style is much more colourist and provides a different type of viewing experience. Maybe this is a key to our different styles. I'm sure that they will have their advocates in the viewing public.

I think you have made a more interesting job of the foliage in your picture than I managed in mine.

The photograph isn't Monument Valley, it's taken near Sedona. Sorry for not making that clear.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Mick. I think that's it - you put greater emphasis on value, while I'm more of a colourist. Each to his own I say.
Sedona of course! I've been there years ago.

Yvonne Harry said...

Nice attempt Peter. The tree is particularly interesting.

Peter Ward said...

Thankyou Yvonne for comments.

Judith Farnworth Art said...

I have exactly the same problem when trying to paint something like this... how do you move away from the realistic approach and still represent the image... if you find out let me know!!!

Having said that you have done a fine job with it!!

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for commenting Judith. I struggled with this one and was unable to come up with a more impressionistic approach, which I would have liked. Still you can't win them all!