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Cactus at Sunset

HLarson3 06 Jan 2022

I resolved to paint more this year, and to at least attempt a desert scene. This one has been on my radar for quite some time and I’m so glad I tried it.

I loved doing the sky, though my initial underpaint coat of alizarin crimson was too thin and I had to add more. This is a common problem I have with my black canvas paintings but I’m starting to catch and correct it!

The rock formation was challenging at first but I kept at it. Getting “the lay of the land” right is a real challenge, just trying to figure out what looks right in terms of color and texture. The cacti were so fun and easy to paint, though one could probably try to perfect the shading forever.

I “dithered” a great deal trying to enhance, add, and detail this one. I’m not pleased with all my changes but am glad I tried them all and am getting confident enough to do so. The foreground rock was my nemesis and I don’t love it but I’m going to live with it at this point. Just couldn’t get the texture and contrast I wanted, and man I tried a lot of ways! At one point it looked like a lump of cherry pile filling! Ha!

Oils on 18x24 canvas, landscape orientation liquid clear + alizarin crimson underpaint.



Hehe cherry pie filling! I don't see that at all so you must have corrected it. I love the clouds with the brightness along the edges. Well done!

Thank you so much Linzee. I didn’t get it fully “right,” but might have at least got it toned down to “peach pie filing.” Ha!

I love this sky!

The sky is the star of the show for sure here! Very easy once you get the underpaint correct. We call these “boom clouds” in my house because Bob always says “boom!” as he paints them.

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