As usual I began with the sky wash. In this case I wet portions of the sky and left other parts completely dry. Then I brushed the color into the washes letting the pigment mingle randomly. The combination of hard and soft edges in the sky creates the drama I’m looking for.
While the sky was drying I brushed a wash of clear water across the foreground area and boldly dropped in mixtures of warm and cool colors, roughly indicating shapes of shrubs and areas of red sand. As it began to dry I used a brush loaded with clear water and flicked it across the wash.
While the ground was drying I move to the mountains in the middle ground laying in loose washes of warm color at the top of the cliffs and letting the wash turn cooler, more red, and finally bluer toward the shadows along the bottom of the cliffs.
A close-up allows you to see the luminosity that comes from allowing the pigments to mingle while the paper is wet. When those dried completely, I cut in the blue cast shadow on the right side of the painting. In order to get a crisp edge the paper had to be dry.