Rattlesnake Mountain from Mesa

Rattlesnake Mountain from Mesa. ©2010 Lisa McShane. Oil on Canvas. 24" x 44".
Working to capture that warm, late evening sun in eastern Washington. Rattlesnake Mountain is the prominent landscape feature for 60 miles or so in every direction and I've been painting it from all angles.

This painting, Dusk Falls on Rattlesnake and Red, is from the other side.


Casey Klahn said…
I think that as your paintings get bigger, they seem to breath more. Great work.

I find myself asking which rattlesnake ridge/mountain this is, but the ones I know are further west than yours.
Lisa McShane said…
Thanks Casey - I do think this scale is right. And even bigger may feel more right.

I'm sure it's the same Rattlesnake Mountain. Just west of the Tri-Cities. It's bordered by Hanford on the north, the Yakima river on the south. It's very long and you can see it from quite a distance.
Caroline said…
Very beautiful work Lisa. I was wondering if you worked on a smooth canvas as the appearance is very soft looking. To paint a sky like that must be difficult it looks as if it is layers of glazes very gradually built up. A very interesting blog I was very interested in Deborah pasting linen to a board when you say small works what size could you go up to. I guess if the board gets too big there is a chance that the linen could sag. My only reservation about doing it myself is the fear of the linen weave being uneven once pasted on.
Lisa McShane said…
Hi Caroline - I was just admiring your beautiful drawings!

The linen is already primed on one side. The one I use (it's the one Deborah uses) is a medium texture that's sized and then primed with a white alkyd primer. Because its a heavy linen and is primed, it's very stiff before its glued so sagging isn't an option!

For the backing I use a 3/16 Gatorboard up to about 16 x 20 and then a 1/2" for anything larger. Right now the largest I've done on panel is 30" x 40". Larger than that I switch to a stretched canvas or linen.

Rattlesnake is on a stretched heavy cotton canvas that was primed with an oil primer.

Thank you for your compliment on the sky! That's actually painted in a lot of layers, but in many opaque layers with some transparent glazing at the base and somewhat thin semi-opaque scumbles for the clouds.
Caroline said…
Thank you Lisa for the information about canvas, I didn't realise that the canvas would be heavy weight but thinking about it, it makes sense that it is, anything thinner would sag. I once bought some ready stretch linen canvas from Italy in a box of 6 and unfortunately one of them had an uneven weave in the linen, my eye just kept noticing it. At the time I was working in very fine glazes, Now with working in thicker paint it wouldn't matter so much.
After asking about your working method I went onto your website where I think I read about you building up the painting in many thin glazes. Thanks for explaining the sky process in your recent painting, it must have taken you quite a while to complete. The result is really beautiful.