Down the Colorado III

This is the third in a series of paintings from our trip down the Colorado river in May.

Here are some of the paints I mixed for the washes.

After a fairly careful drawing, I began by painting wet in wet passages that were not too large; I needed to be able to stroke in some middle values into the light colored washes.

After all the lightest juicy passages were complete I began darkening and defining the background.
Then the middle ground.
And finally the foreground.
As always, I am a little too exuberant with vibrant colors so after I laid in the secondary washes in the river, I waited a few days to see the painting with fresh eyes.
Down the Colorado III
The River water needed a third layer of paint to add more of the warm reflected colors and to darken the deep water on the right.

As I suspected, the rock formations in the near ground were WAY too bright and the contrast of detail was distracting from the painting's focal point.  When my friend Pat Starr came by, we discussed how to unify, calm, and darken the rock formations on the right.  I washed over them with a greyed lavender wash and while it was wet I dropped in some drab greens too; much better!  Finally I added some sparkling ripples in the water with a touch of colored pencil.  I hope you enjoy
Down the Colorado III