Death Valley Wash

Watercolor landscape painting, Death Valley Wash by Janet Tarjan Erl.

Death Valley Wash

Medium: Watercolor, Image Size: 11″h x 14″w, 2009.

This watercolor is of a dry wash in Death Valley National Park. I did this painting because I like the contorted shapes, sculpted forms, and warm, and cool subtle colors of this canyon. When hiking through this canyon it’s walls are nearly vertical, and one sometimes passes through natural bridges.

The focal point is the archway which lead you back into the warm, illuminated chamber. The viewer is channeled from the foreground rock on the left to the rocks on the right, then to the archway, and finally to the lighted chamber. Nature did a pretty good job of naturally leading the viewer through the wash don’t you think?

When I first started this painting, I wasn’t sure how to deal with all the rock textures in the various distances. Just how tight does one go – especially in the foreground, so I kept it tight enough, yet allowed the brushwork to define the conglomerate texture of the rocks. I did multiple washes upon washes to get the depth of values and textures. From a distance the piece seems tight, yet up close, the brushwork comes alive.

I enjoyed playing with the textures and contrasting colors. This is 99% transparent with a subtle and small amount of gouache. It was painted on Arches 140 lb. Cold Press Watercolor Paper.

This painting exhibited in the Watercolor Society of Oregon 46th Annual Aqueous Media Exhibition 2011, Eugene, Oregon.

Original is sold.

Note: Image Watermark of Copyright and/or Website are NOT on the Original.