Painting by the river makes for a nice afternoon

Sandia Red River
Sandia Red River oil on canvas board  11×14

It’s a nice day out in ABQ, NM and decided to paint outdoors, even though I don’t have a french easel yet (but I just ordered one), so I went to the Rio Grande River to paint.  I know some secluded spots and walked to a different spot I haven’t visited before.  This spot happened to have some red mud, like the earth was cutting into the river, and the reflections of the mountains were in the river.  And even though I didn’t have an easel, I brought along a smaller easel which was more like a stand, put my blank easel board on it and started to paint away.

I was sitting on the ground too, normally I don’t do these harsh conditions, but sometimes you do what it takes to get the scene down.  I started using a Permanent Rose color instead of my bright red color, just so I can mix it up a bit and try something different.  I also used a yellow ochre and created some great peach/orange colors in which you see in the mud.  It also worked for the mountains too, and I feel I’m learning how to use the purples for shadows more effectively.

The whole piece took about 2 hours to complete in the late afternoon.  It seemed like a softer piece with a whole lot of less brushstrokes.  I like saying more with less, and I saved the more textured areas for the foreground where the mud and trees meet.  It was a nice effort towards capturing this cool scene.