From Plein Air Study to Finished Studio Piece

Everyone once in a while you have a pleiin air study that you want to turn into a larger painting that you create in your studio.  Perhaps there are certain things in the plein air study that you like and then again there are areas that you know you can improve upon.

To start this study, I just did a simple block in.

The first photo here is a plein air study.  What do I like?  Obviously, the Santa Rita Prickly Pear and I like the color combinations.  What needs to change?  The foreground and the background.

I decided that I wanted to do this piece in the studio as an 18” X 24” painting.  First I drew in the prickly pear and then played with various background combinations.  I wanted to break up the straw colored bushes and give the piece more depth.  After working on the foreground and mid-ground, I decided I wanted a bit more drama and so I plunged ahead and painted the “sky” a dark blue.  I believe that artists must have courage.  The dark blue sky is not for everyone but that is ok.

At first the background treet were just to cold, so I warmed them up gradually, and the greens in the mid-ground were too green, so I grayed them.

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