High in the Mountains!
Just got through painting this one. It's called "Among the cliffs". I wanted to give the feeling of being high in the mountains and I wanted it to be almost an overwhelming feeling of the size and height of the Rocky Mountains.
I actually painted this several years ago with sky showing in the background and a far off mountain range but something was bothering me about it so I set it off to the side and would look at it every once in a while over the span of about 10 years until finally I got the idea in my head to change the background. I filled the whole background with the side of that mountain to give an idea of how large some of these rugged peaks are. When doing this you have to use lighter values on your color pallet to set the mountain back in the distance and I used the clouds floating in the lower valleys as a kind of separator between the layers. If I had no clouds and all rocks every thing in the painting would be competing for attention and I definitely wanted the bighorn sheep to be the star of the show. Now you might notice that the foreground rocks are very dark with just a touch of light hitting the top edges. I did this to brings that layer forward which gives the painting depth and also to imply that the light is coming through the valley between the peaks.
I can't wait to get back to Colorado this summer to visit more sights like this and get more inspiration. This original painting is available if you want to contact me and I also have Limited edition prints at the link below.