Monday, December 21, 2009

Step by step

(Posted by Maggie)
I haven't been painting small paintings for a few weeks, as I've been working on several large paintings in a row. I thought it would be interesting to try to post a step-by-step sequence of this recent one. It's a complex subject (maybe sharing a studio with Bill got me interested in painting complexity!) but the way it developed is interesting, I think.

I worked on an 18x24 Richeson Premium Pastel surface, black, on Gatorfoam. It's one of my favorite surfaces. I love the richness of the color applied on the black, though there's a danger of getting the whole painting too dark. In one of the later steps, you'll see the background mountains lighten a little; that's when I realized they were too dark to recede properly.

What intrigued me about the subject was the contrast of those rocky cliff-like mountain sides against the aspen and scrub oak. The reference photo was taken high in the Sandia Mountains when we were hiking the La Luz Trail. These mountains have towering cliffs and rock formations of a unique rock (known as "Sandia Granite") which, though it may appear gray from a distance, has a wonderful variety of pinks, oranges, rust, brown and many other colors. I'm still not sure but what this painting isn't too busy, but the subject itself is very busy!

Above, High Country Fall, 18x24, pastel on black Richeson Pastel surface, © Maggie Price.


  1. Beautiful painting and loved watching the process. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ohhhh Maggie, it was so neat watching that one develop. Working on black is so much fun. Happy Holidays!

  3. HI Maggie, I love it when people share their process. This surface is interesting, will have to give it a try. Lovely landscape!