Palo Duro Canyon: Plein Air and Studio Work “Highlights in the Canyon”

"Highlights in the Canyons" 12x16" Acrylic on canvas panel.
“Highlights in the Canyons” 12×16″ Acrylic on canvas panel.

This is a studio work from a plein air study done in Palo Duro Canyon.  If you go on Capitol Mountain Bike Trail, staying to the left for about a half mile, you’ll see this view.  This was done around 5pm when the light was going down making a backlighting effect on the grass.  If you’re in the canyon, be sure to see it, but beware, by 6pm the buffalo gnats will drive you mad. You can swat a mosquito, but it will only infuriate a swarm of gnats. Better off just hightailing it.

reference pic of the scene. The camera had fits trying to get the lighting right.
reference pic of the scene. The camera had fits trying to get the lighting right.

Here’s the study done in the canyon.  I do like how the study lit the path in the foreground from the lower left to the highlighted grass, but I’m trying to keep the story simple and straight. Lighting the path means also putting in highlights in the bushes grass in the very front.  This would be a distraction.  Simple is good.

plein air study for the studio work.
plein air study for the studio work.

 

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