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To the Edge of the Escarpment - 40" X 40" - OOC

edited June 11 in Post Your Paintings
This is near the top of the mountain here. It's a trail to the edge of the escarpment where there's an almost  vertical drop of about 300 meters/1000 feet. The dolerite columns you see here have weathered into strange pinnacles and are encrusted with colourful lichens.

 There's still a bit to do on this but I got the canvas covered today so thought I'd ask for feedback.  Sorry for the crappy photo taken at night with my phone. I tried to make some adjustments post exposure in Affinity Photo but without much success. The subtle colour in the sky and of the distant land beneath it doesn't show up at all. Will get a better one in sunshine if the sun ever comes out again down here. 

Thanks for looking and commenting.  :)




  • Ohh.. wonderful colours and composition. Looking forward to seeing a better photo. :)
  • edited June 10
    Hey Rob,
    I'd love to see your paintings in person, they look excellent!
    It really gives you a sense of depth with the background and the foreground. Your coulors are as usual spot on.
    Really don't have much to say, I prefer to just look at the painting :)
    Suppose you're not anywhere in Europe?

  • The lichens are amazing almost surreal in this painting.  I like the way you handled the plants too.
  • It looks great! I like the way the trail curls around and leads you into the painting. The colours of the shrubs/plants balance the starkness of the rock well….
  • edited June 11
    Thank you, @Richard_P , @Marinos_88, @GTO, and @Loushka:)\

     @Marinos_88, no, not in Europe. I'm in Tasmania but right now I'd rather be in Europe. It's winter down here.  :)  
  • edited June 11
    I've replaced the photo originally posted with a slightly better one. It's the depths of winter down here so the sun is low in the sky and weak, and there's a heavy overcast and rain so it's difficult to get a decent photo outdoors. 
  • It’s beautiful Rob. 
  • CBGCBG -
    edited June 11

    Your paintings are amazing.  You get the values and colors right, while simultaneously imbuing the scene with very prominent texture/detail.

    To the untrained eye, it appears as though you have somehow laid a foundation or base having the generally correct values/colors, but shifted judiciously to cause the correct value/colors when the detailing/textured strokes are added on top.  Equivalently, instead of painting the resulting average color, to that untrained eye it almost appears as if you have a foundation 1 stop brighter or darker and then add detail strokes (darker or brighter) to end up... optically, with the proper perceived value/color AND a great level of texture.  

    [An engineer-type with the same untrained eye might say you have somehow been able to paint a low pass (not necessarily a mathematical mean average/blurred ) version of the scene and then somehow added a high pass version on top... possibly shifting one darker and the other lighter and relying on optical "blending" of the viewer's eye]

    How wrong does the untrained eye get it?  and could you give some insight into your process?  I am fascinated as to how your work dances and dazzles while at the same time being spot on.


  • ArtGalArtGal -
    edited June 11
    It's a beautiful painting again, @tassieguy. Colors look a bit cooler on my computer  almost looks like moonlight if you close the sky part. Did you ever think about painting a nocturne?
  • edited June 11
    Thanks very much, @ArtGal:)

    The cool colour is probably due to the poor photo - it's cold and dark and wet down here in the middle of winter so I can't get a good photo of the painting outside in sunlight to show the true colours. But a nocturne sounds nice. I'm doing a series on the mountain for my next show and maybe I can go back up there late but before they close the road for the night and get some evening shots.   :)
  • tassieguy said:
     My method is calculated and not very spontaneous and I'm sure the highfalutin art critics would dis me for it but I don't know how else to get the effect I want in these large paintings. 
    I. You're doing a great job Rob, how you get there isn't important. I don't think anybody looking at your painting is wondering what method you used :p. painting isnt something that is done spontaneously(not even abstract) , takes some planning. I'm a Newbie in painting and I realised from the early stages, spontaneous doesn't really help in the painting process =)
    I did some googgling and Tasmania's nature beauty looks spectacular 
  • Thanks very much, @Marinos_88.  I agree that even with abstract painting a lot of thought and preparation needs to go in before starting. I mean, yeah, one might fluke an interesting abstract work by just slopping paint around but I think it's unlikely. Even purely abstract painters like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko did a lot of thinking before they stated a painting. I don't think one can produce consistently good work without giving serious thought to the end result and how to get there. 

    Tasmania is beautiful. Bot cold in winter. I trust you're enjoying spring. I love Europe. I lived in France for a while and have visited most European countries. There's beauty everywhere in Europe.  :)
  • tassieguy said:
    I paint that mid-tone first (often I'll stain the whole canvas that colour) and then put the detail on top. I like the way all the little dabs and dashes of more vibrant colour create a sort of visual vibration on top of the violet base.
    Absolutely brilliant!

    tassieguy said:
    I still colour check as per Mark's instructions. 
    That's gotta be tricky, as the colour on your brush only matches the bits and pieces...  not the average!

    tassieguy said:
    My method is calculated and not very spontaneous and I'm sure the highfalutin art critics would dis me for it but I don't know how else to get the effect I want in these large paintings.
    Those highfalutin art critics would be wrong.

    tassieguy said:
    Thanks again for your kind and thoughtful comments.  :)
    You know, I've had other people tell me I'm kind, but really I just think I'm honest!   :)

  • Another masterpiece Rob. Each one seems better than the last!
  • I think this one is my favorite so far in this series, Rob! I feel like the contrast between the greens and reds/oranges are more gripping with each of your paintings in this series. And then there's the skies. I can't get over the perfect value of your skies. :) 
  • Lovely work Rob and I’m sure looks even more so when you take a better photo.

    I like the lusciousness of the greenery and the different colours in it.

  • Once again you’ve taken a pile of rocks and turned it into something magical. 
    Absolutely love this one , Rob. ❤️
  • Ah, Hilary, you're back!  How wonderful! 

    Thanks for your kind words re the painting. It's the latest in the series I'm doing on Kunanyi, or "The Mountain" as we call it here in Hobart. I'm waiting for it to snow again up there so I can get some winter shots but, apart from one fall that only lasted a few days in May, all we've had so far this winter is damned rain. 

    It's so good to see you again, Hilary.  :)<3:)  
  • I can see why @CBG pondered the ”how” of the painting.  The lichens have a dramatic look to them almost as if they are tattooed onto the rocks.  The technique has a natural easy feel.  Nothing is forced.  And the obvious fidelity to the form, value and color just looks and feels right.  This is true of all of your paintings. 
    When I look over the top edge of the rocks it looks like there could be flat valley below. Hard to tell.  They could just be clouds but I see some red there and what may be a distance horizon line.  
  • edited June 12
    Thanks very much, @GTO:)

    The structure in the sky hardly shows up at all in this crappy photo. The area beneath the clouds is actually the edge of the city and the suburbs that stretch along the the Derwent estuary and The Channel.  That area will be much clearer when I can get a better photo in sunshine. It's done nothing but rain here this last week. Hoping for a sunny break soon but the next week isn't looking promising either. That's winter in Tasmania.    :)
  • I do believe you are the rock master.  Love this one.  It makes me feel like I could walk down the path.
  • edited June 13
    Thanks very much, @oilpainter1950.

    I've now got five done. Seven to go. By the time I've finished this series at the end of December I'm sure I'm going to be completely over rocks.  :)
  • I came back to this days later and I didn't realize the first few times of looking at it that you painted the lower land way in the distance. It totally changed the whole dynamic of the painting and instantly made me feel like I could reach my hand into the painting. So good.
  • Thank you, @Sam Storm. That area will show up more clearly when I can get a better photo.  :)
  • Beautiful work! ❤️
  • This is a great painting especially the way the path has been shown. This is going towards pointillism but still amazing level of naturalness! 
  • A great project.  This is the most satisfying painting in the series so far for me.  It has depth due to the path that leads you to the sea beyond.  Varied rocks, plants and lichens enliven the composition.  Usual attention to detail and neat execution--good job. Look forward to seeing the next one!
  • Thanks very much, @Gary_Heath.  Next one's on the easel already.  :)
  • this is such a lovey composition, with the winding trail through the rock formations, and a hint of the view of the horizon where the trail leads to.... you've got to tell us how you paint the awesome foliage too... i  now know how you painted the rocks :) Me, i can only manage green blobs with darker bottom lighter top and may be some holes to break it up for any tree/shrub. Please throw some light on painting believable shrubs as in the painting  :o
  • edited June 17
    Thanks for your kind comments, @anwesha:)

    With the shrubs, I break the colour up like I do with the rocks. So, instead of just one colour green I mix yellow greens and orange greens and I lighten these with white for the tips of the foliage. Same with the red bushes - there are red, orange and yellow. For the dark underside of the bushes I use manganese violet which in places is mixed with Phthalo green. I paint these darks first then put the other colours on top and leave them without blending.  

    Thanks for taking the time to look and comment, @anwesha:)
  • i see... thank you! I haven't used manganese violet before.. is it a transparent paint or more in the opaque you wait for it to dry before going over with the lighter colors?
  • edited June 17
    Thanks, @anwesha. Manganese violet is very opaque and stiff. I love it. Mixed with a bit of Phthalo green it makes a very intense dark green - almost black.  I don't add much oil - just enough to make it flow.  I apply it with a stiff bristle brush. And I don't wait for it to dry - applied thinly it doesn't blend with more fluid, lighter colours placed on top with softer brushes.  :)
  • Ah i see.... Thank you @tassieguy . I have a hard time making believable dark greens that are opaque, i think i should get a tube of the manganese violet soon :)
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