Monday, September 10, 2018

The Foreground

With the foreground blocked in, I can start on the gemsbok.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

More tree

I have moved between the tree and its shadow, refining one, modifying the other, until they work together.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The tree

This is one complicated tree. With my shadow painted, I am in essence backward engineering the tree.

Saturday, September 1, 2018


While the dead tree is cool and feels all desert-y, I wanted to include some of the living greenery which is found among these dunes. Each tree is an oasis of life, filled with chattering birds and offering shelter and green morsels for large herbivores.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


According to NASA Earth Observatory, the Namib Desert is thought to be the world's oldest desert. This age, and the accompanying iron oxidation of the sand, has created dunes which range from dull pink to brilliant orange. I found the color simply fascinating.

The dead-looking tree near the center of the painting was just what I wanted. Its shadows seem to dance on the orange dune.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

More Dunes

With these closer dunes I get to liven up the color relative to the most distant dune. At this size, it is difficult to see some of the color subtleties which are needed to have this block feel like sand. Some of the oil paints I used: quinacridone coral, cadmium red, cadmium orange, cadmium yellow, naples yellow, and titanium white. I also worked in some of the lighter purple shadow color from the background dune.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Star dunes

What fascinated me about the the Namib Desert were the star dunes. This type of dune, which has three or more arms, is formed from an environment which consistently has wind from multiple directions. The dunes typically are quite tall, angular, and mostly stationary.
In Namibia, the color and accompanying shadows from the sharp edges are a painter's dream.