Photo reference from Sedona and the Grand Canyon South Rim.
This painting is about atmospheric perspective and depth. I wanted to balance rich saturated color with the visual space that a person experiences looking across the vistas in Sedona, Arizona. I don't always start concepts digitally, but in this case it was an advantage to play with numerous variations. Often times is difficult to nail down the right combination that captures the mood. After all the digital experimenting I still need to paint an oil study. Sometimes I find the study isn't inspiring enough to go on to a bigger final. Other times the study spawns a new idea that I move onto, while still intending to comeback and at some point and paint a larger final.
This is the oil study.
The first stage working on the final, drawing and under painting in acrylic paint.
About 20 stages later, the painting is close to being final. At this stage I see design elements that can be improved. The foreground tree shape lacks the abstract design quality originally intended. The foreground in general appears too clean. Although I have plenty of photo reference of places where there are large areas of bare exposed rock, it appears unnatural here. As if someone picked up all the fallen sticks and debris.