Posts tagged 12x16 oil painting
Cactus Shadows IV
Cactus Shadows IV
12x16 oil on panel
The fourth in a series, this painting examines the other worldly color combinations and shapes that cactus offer up.  Caught in the early morning desert sun, the arresting shapes of the cactus were accentuated by the shadows they cast on the broad, extraordinarily colored surfaces of neighboring leaves. 
The first step is the under painting where I work out placement and values
Laying in the first color. I look to capture the basic color of broad shapes, while adhering to the values I  established in my underpainting.
Now I slow down and begin to look for more subtle color and value changes. I build depth of color with glazes, dry brush and constant looking to see more and more detail. I continue to check for accuracy while trying to ultimately express what I found compelling about this specific sight.

The finished painting is at the top of the post.


This 12x16 oil records a beautiful plant I found blossoming profusely under the harsh desert sun.
These bursts of color were small in scale, but reached up from the glossy leaves throughout the plant.
The reflection of the brilliant desert sky and the beautifully articulated shadows on the curving leaves
caught and held my attention. I hope you enjoy it as well.
This is the underpainting, where I worked out the composition and the overall pattern
of light and dark before I dove into finding all those greens.

My pallet consists of 2 yellows, 2 reds, 2 greens, 2 blues, 4 browns, black and white.
This series has tested my ability to mix the necessary 1000 shades of green.
Someday I'll move to another subject and perhaps I won't feel
green around the gills after a day in the studio!