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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Painting in the Desert ... The Saguaros


It was the final day of the Plein Air Convention and I wanted to paint the Saguaros. All week long I tried putting them in my paintings. They are tricky to paint. I found it challenging to make them look natural....like they belong in the landscape without being too contrived. I decided it would be good to settle down and just paint one up close.


The last day of the convention was devoted to an all day paint out at Picacho Peak State Park. Many of the artists had left but there was still a good size gathering at the park. Marsha and I arrived early and I staked a spot under the pavilion. It was a great shady spot with beautiful views. Soon I was joined by other artists and we had a great time painting together. 


I had fun doing a watercolor underpainting for my cactus painting. I think I had just as much fun with the underpainting as the pastel application. I also enjoyed watching the birds perch on the top of my cactus model. How do they do that?


Here are the few pastels I used for my cactus. I tried not to cover the watercolor!  I actually painted two more paintings and I will be sharing more in upcoming posts. We are heading home tomorrow and will be on the road for a few days!




Sheila said...

I am in the desert this week as well. And I have been shooting photos of all the flowers and plants... lovely yellow trees and flowering cactus. Love cactus, look forward to seeing more :) Enjoy!

robertsloan2art said...

Gorgeous! It sounds like it was so much fun. Love the photo too, the bird taking off is such a lucky shot. You can put that bird into anything later on, or just use that reference for a great studio painting. Love the saguaro painting. You found the interesting ones that don't look stereotyped - and so many have the two bent arms hands up off a middle trunk, the cartoon shape was very common when I saw real ones. You chose a couple of beauties and painted them well! Love the underpainting too.