February 17, 2017

Gallatin River Sketch - updated and done!

this is how it started
I'm headed back to Montana in a couple of weeks and to get ready, I've decided to work on smallish sketches from some reference photos I took in December.   This is a 14 x 18" oil on a burnt umber toned ground.

The Gallatin River is beautiful all year!  In the winter there's snow and ice along the cliffs and on rocks in the water, and red berried shrubs on the banks.  I stopped to take a photo at many of the pull outs on the road between Bozeman and Big Sky and I think they'll be a fine place to paint plein air (if it's not too cold!) next month and maybe do some larger paintings on site and in my Montana studio.

this is the next stage of the painting

Update -- this is the next stage of the painting.  I felt like the color needed to be adjusted and both made the rocks bluer and the water less green.  Although each section of the painting seems more satisfying to me, the water and rocks just aren't relating to one another properly yet.  More work on this to come.

Study of the latest iteration of the work helped me realize that the reflection in the water and the intensity of the color (curse the pthalo pigment I'd mixed into that paint) was in conflict with my intention that the water should look like it's moving.  The color and broken reflections made it look of a piece with the rocks and that was what wasn't working.  Done now!