This is a work in progress of Bryce Canyon’s Navajo Loop. I started with two thick layers of raw umber, completely covering the canvas from top to bottom. The layers were allowed to dry for three days in between applications. My goal is to create a perceived depth of the canyon and depict the rhythm of the rocky surfaces. I am painting with a brush verses palette knife, so I can have more control with the shapes and details in the rocks.
Before choosing the foundation for any painting, I think about the effect it is likely to have on the subsequent layers. Most of the time, I will pick the ideal color, while other times, I realize halfway into the work that I should have made different selection altogether. The idea with underpainting in this way is to lessen the amount of effort involved, using the base coat as an anchor, and allowing that color to bleed through selected areas. I have used red, grey, pink, black and burnt sienna as base colors in the past, depending upon the effect I was hoping to achieve.
Each painting begins with a foundation of skills, influence, and experience, which evolve over time ~