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First Canyon painting

I went to the Grand Canyon today with all my gear. There was a problem. Let's start with a quick checklist:

  1. Easel

  2. Chair (as if I'll ever relax enough to sit)

  3. Hat

  4. Umbrella (just in case)

  5. Indian Red *finally gonna use it*

  6. Ultramarine Blue (of course).

  7. Yellow Ochre

  8. Ivory Black

  9. Burnt Sienna

  10. Cad Yellow

  11. Cad Red

  12. Palette Knife

  13. Brushes (all filbert -of course) #10, #8, #6

  14. Paper Towels

  15. Water Bottle for me, and my water mixable paints.

  16. Medium W, Linseed oil.

And here's the sticky bit. I brought my video camera with tripod. Thought I'd be doing some youtube postings right about now, but no.

I do NOT paint fast enough. My camera ran out of battery and the shadows all changed drastically, revealing a completely different contour of the north rim.

The end result is fine enough, but it could have been so much better. I'm excited and thrilled. I had people walking by and asking me questions. It was fantastic. The piece turned out great really, I couldn't ask for better on my first time out.

What I learned:

-- paint faster (somehow). The canyon is just mountain ranges with a flat top. I can do the contours of mountains, so long as there are shadows.

-- Order more camera batteries.

-- Go earlier or later, don't paint mid-day. No shadows is rough. Painting local color on objects that far away is insanity.

-- Wait out the rain. Just hang out, don't leave, it will stop.

-- Don't paint immediately, wait until you see the center of interest. Compose the painting, the canyon is perfect, but you need to see what you want on the canvas first.

-- Have a way to get your wet paintings back unharmed. If I had been inspired to do one more painting, I wouldn't have been able to get it back safely.

-- Get lighter stuff. I need to find a light weight french easel. If I have to forge one from carbon fiber in my spare time, it must be done.

-- Use a lot of paint, on each brush stroke. Especially at the mid-end game. Only use wet strokes in the early stage, like the sketch. Find horizon, a few features, then go for it.

-- Use value changes for the depth. The things that are on the horizon are not higher or lower in the canyon when they are further away, they just drop in value. This is enough to suggest the depth, and it's subtle from stage to stage. It makes the depth happen because there are just so many stages. Big valleys, like the Bright Angel trail through to the box to the North rim, that creates a cavern, or gully, the edge drops in value there.

-- Get your clouds down fast, they move quick. Try to pick a time when there is some blue in the sky. Get them in and leave them be. If clouds shade the canyon, not sure what to do yet.

Still a Ton to learn. I will post the painting here as soon as it's dry enough to touch. Maybe I can post a single video.

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