Utah is a Beautiful Place

I was recently in Zion National Park, Utah; and became mesmerized by the breathtaking colors of the sandstone. The crisp lines of dark carbon minerals pressed into the red rock are amazing. This place is one to marvel at. I love how the vegetation brings the pigment of the rocks forward. The cream colors create a beautiful contrast as well. As I looked up at the details of the mountain, I spied a bighorn sheep. She was frozen in a regal position trying to camouflage herself into her surroundings. I took a photograph from afar so as not to spook her. She was magnificent. The females have little horns for their protection and the males have the larger, rounded horns, to protect their herds. It is always a pleasure to see these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat. 

In the photograph, there was a reflection on her belly from the sandstone below. I wanted to show the colors of red, orange, blue, and purple in this natural reflection. I used Scarlet Lake for the red and watered it down so as to have it as a wash. Then I added 4 layers of Ultramarine Blue mixed with Burnt Umber for the shadows and details obtained with pointillism. This whole painting was formed using Windsor and Newton Professional Transparent Watercolours and their size 00 paintbrush. I do love emphasizing the tiny details of life and love their brushes for this reason. Many colors went into creating the layers of the sandstone and the green pigments for the plants.

The large manzanita plant to the right was quite enjoyable to paint. I hope you have the opportunity to visit Zion if you are ever in the Southwest portion of Utah. Thank you for reading my blogs about the process and the journey of the artwork I love creating. I hope this painting brings a smile to your face and the one person who gets to take it home will look upon it forever. Have a lovely week and hold on to your Wonder!

-Karen Hilliard