Friday, July 2, 2010

Racing the Wind

Racing the Wind, 24X30, oil on linen, ©2010 Steve Atkinson

Hi Everybody,
this scene has so many of the elements of western art that I love. First are the riders , which are coming directly at the viewers. Second is the dusty atmosphere. The riders are trying their best to stay ahead of the dust devil, which seems to be chasing them. The dust keeps the edges of everything soft. The third thing I like to challenge myself to paint, is the backlit subject. The way it keeps the shadow element values very close, while it lights up the edges of these things leaves no room for error.


One more thing about this painting that I enjoyed, is that its set in one of my favorite places in the world, Canyon de Chelly.


Vicky said...

Lovely, as usual, Steve. It's always a pleasure to stop by and see what you've done!

Tim Fitzgerald said...

Good to see you working hard in your new home.
It's easier to paint something you love.
How do you paint the dust so well? Is it a light version of the background with a transparent dust color on top? I don't want you to give away any secrets but have tried to create dust and wasn't as successful as you.
Great painting as usual.
Tim Fitz

Steve Atkinson said...

Thanks for the post Vicky! It's always great to have you stop by and share your thoughts.

Tim, yep, it's nice to finally be settled.... well, almost settled.

how do I paint dust? Use dust colored paint of course! =0) OK, maybe that's not the way. Just keep the detail of the object to a minimum. Keep the values close, and let the painting dry when you have it close. Put a tiny bit of paint on your brush, wipe it off, and scumble the dust on top of your painting. Scumbling the effect on in small amounts will keep you from overdoing it and save you a lot of repainting time in the end. You may need to go in and add back in some of the details that get obliterated in the process. Howard Terpning is a master of this. I study his paintings to see how he does it.

Talk to you soon, S.

Ann Rogers said...

As always, a masterful painting!

Steve Atkinson said...

Thank You Ann, that means a lot coming from you!

Jennifer McChristian said...

Awesome Steve! This painting really resonates with energy. Love the dramatic sense of scale :)