We just got back home and unpacked from our best trip yet; rafting down the Colorado River through Grand Canyon.  

Every inch of the 222 miles of the river was fascinating with changing light, color, shapes, and moving water.

I only took 950 pictures because my camera wasn't waterproof, Tom took the other 1,240 pictures!

Here is the first wash - it's tough to gauge the values correctly...so I went with warm and cool colors and just jumped in.

Trying to use as little detail as possible, I layered in the bands of rock and color on the left hand side.

Finally addressing the dark bands of desert varnish in the foreground rocks and layering in washes in the water.

I think I will paint this again next week using pastel.  This scene may be easier because I will be able to work from dark to light and since the pastels are wider than a watercolor brush I may be able to resist painting so much of the detail in the distance.  I learned a lot (though not enough) about painting the canyon walls from Cody DeLong take a look at his website www.codydelong.com to see how it should be done.  Maybe when I have a little more distance from this exhilarating experience I will be able to resist the urge to explain it ALL to the viewer...so stay tuned, more pieces next week!