We visited this area last Fall. After hiking several miles up we reached the top of Hanging Rock which is where I shot the picture that inspired this painting. When I began photographing the area I knew almost immediately the types of paintings I would do. The rock is so massive and the view is so spectacular it created two distinct elements that had to be separated. I decided that I would paint the rock directly on the glass and offset it about a half inch from the panel to give me some depth. I began first by painting the sky on the panel - it was not my intention to give the sky so much attention, but I found that some of the colors I was using were not giving enough vibrant punch. I knew these would be behind glass, so I needed to make the sky jump out. The mountains in the back ground are a bit more subtle but help in making the sky and the rock really come alive.
Painting on glass is always a challenge as it has no absorption. Even traditional primers like gesso do not always adhere well. Several coats of priming were used and even then the surface is still pretty tough. I painted the rock, by first using traditional heavy body acrylics in a series of color patterns. After about 8 hours the basis of the rock had formed, but the colors were not vibrant and streaked alot. I then used acryl Gouache to go back over these colors. Everything on the rock is opaque, so I did not concern myself with losing transparency by using the gouache. After doing this I again used the acryl gouache and made the patterns and symbols on the rock that are found in many of my works.
When I finally framed the piece and offset the glass from the panel got really excited from the results. The additional work and challenges of working on glass definitely paid off!.