National Parks Series

Driving towards Moab, Utah felt like we were on another planet!  The colors of the rocks as the sun hit them was breathtaking.  So many shades of orange, pink, rust, and gold.  While there, we took a hot air balloon over the Arches National Park, leaving early enough to watch the sun come up.  This is the inspiration for my next piece in the National Park Series. 

Reference Photo

We drove past this formation on the way to the hotel once we got into Moab.  This is the photo I’m using as a reference. 

Sketched Out

I wanted to add a hot air balloon to the scene, as I believe it adds interest and it is one of the activities visitors might try to get a good look at the formations.  

Making Progress

When I do my first washes, I work on a towel since the paint tends to drip off as I tilt the paper in order to move the colors around.  Using a LOT of water, I want to make this be a sunrise sort of piece.  Now that it’s dry, it looks kind of muddy, so I have work to do to fix that.  I moved my brush around the land area while the paint was still wet, in order to add texture.  


I have been asked how I create my Cookie Cutter paintings, so thought I would include the process here:  
Once I find a good combination of cookie cutter and image, I make a paper cutout of the cookie cutter, often enlarging it a bit, out of heavy construction paper.  I put a bit of tape on the back of the paper and stick it to my watercolor paper.  Then, I go around the construction paper with masking fluid (1).  Once the masking fluid is dry, I sketch the image inside the cookie cutter shape. With the masking fluid still on I start to paint, usually putting down a light wash so I will know where the outline of the cookie cutter is (2).  Once I know I’ll be able to see where the outline is, I remove the masking fluid and them complete the painting (3).