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Santa Fe Art Trek w/ Niki Gulley and Scott Williams – Ghost Ranch
SANTA FE ART TREK:
Day 1, morning location – Ghost Ranch, New Mexico
12″ x 9″ pastel by Niki Gulley
On the first day of our Santa Fe Plein-Air Painting and Photography Workshop, we headed to the gorgeous hills where Georgia O’Keefe resided, now understanding fully why she chose to live there. The rock formations were beautiful, the desert scenery had a rugged, uninhabited wild west feel, and the clouds were spectacular. I chose this location for my pastel demo, being attracted to the light on the distant mountain peaks, and the bushy sagebrush in the foreground.
I quickly drew my major shapes, then working with the sides of my pastels, blocked in my darks and simplified the scene into larger color passages. Tweaking the composition as I went so everything flowed together and kept your eye moving around the painting, I started developing my focal area in the distance, establishing more details in the cracks and crevices and accentuating the dramatic lights and darks with complimentary colors. Then, I moved into details on the sagebrush and suggested the deep shadow underneath. Last, I filled in the middle ground in between, making sure to keep soft edges and a closer color and value range there, so as not to take away from the other areas. A perfect morning in an amazing location!
Above: Some of our painters at Ghost Ranch.