30 Paintings in 30 Days, days 16 and 17


I love the southwest landscape. It’s amazing how different the deserts can look. Ours here is Las Vegas is very textural with very little color, except for our Red Rock Canyon, my husband John calls it a tortured beauty.

This painting is from the New Mexico desert, also very textural but with more subtle color, they do get much more rain than we do.

When I start a painting like this, with lots of grasses and bushes, keeping the painting as dry as possible is important to me. If the paint has too much medium in it, the surface will be slippery causing overlaying textures to turn to mush. The first layer is scrubbed on with a stiff bristol brush. Next a thicker almost pasty layer. The final  layer I like to use a scruffy badger hair brush with painting medium, with the thicker paint underneath I can get some good traction, dragging thin paint on top in a hit and miss.


Today’s painting was from a scene at the local dog park. It’s so fun to see these guys interact and show their personalities .

I always have a hard time with blues at the start of a painting, are they more toward green or more toward violet? Staring with the most neutral blue, Cobalt blue, gives me a good base to go either way. As areas get developed, it becomes very apparent which direction I need to push the blue.

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