Planning for ZionPosted: October 4, 2014
One of the things that makes Zion National Park so spectacular is the different colours of the rock in the canyon walls. When you’re standing in the canyon and looking up you see the sandstone hues moving from white at the top to pink and then to red with hints of blue and green. I am still working on a series of large-format watercolours of Utah’s National Parks. For each painting I start with a value sketch, usually in pencil and that usually provides enough direction to move on to the larger painting. For the first of my Zion paintings I felt the need for a bit more planning — to really figure out the colours as well as the values, so I did this postcard-sized sketch. It takes a lot of restraint not to paint in some of the details (cracks in the rock faces, grasses in the foreground, etc) but that’s not the point of this. It’s really about sticking with the big shapes and saving the smaller brushes for later.