The bare beginnings

Here's the initial wash on a little 8x8 cradled panel I started today. It's inspired by a photo I took of a scene in the Velarde area of New Mexico along the river. This time around I wanted to share with you the stages of the painting surface. Before starting the painting, I complete a quick sketch of the scene. Even though I don't always love drawing, I feel this is such an important step to define and focus on what excites me about the scene and lay down the boundaries and basic composition.

Now I'm ready to paint! I start by laying down a wash of cadmium orange, alizarin crimson and mineral spirits over the canvas. I begin to sketch in the shapes using a varied mixture of cobalt blue, alizarin crimson & burnt sienna. Areas I know I want to remain light, I often wipe off the color to show the white of the canvas. I try to keep my paint strokes loose and adjust shapes as needed to tie the pieces together as I go along. Nothing is rigidly defined yet.

In my next post I'll show the layering of color and developing painting.


  1. This landscape is great! Truly a work of art! I like the colors you used as well! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Thank you for your vote of confidence for my painting start. I hope to get the next stage posted soon!



I welcome your feedback. Please let me know what you think!