I've always felt it necessary to pay very close attention to the habitat in my art. Of course some settings are more spectacular and paintable than others, so I choose carefully when constructing my compositions. The contrast between the blue-green sage and the multi-colored grasses both attracted and concerned me. The low light of early morning allowed me to mute the colors a bit and push most of them toward the cool side of the spectrum. Too much color would likely have resulted in and almost cartoon-like feeling. While striving for a reasonable amount of accuracy, the words of John Banovich kept coming back to me, " Don't paint every blade of grass, but paint the essence of the grass." Interestingly enough, when I attempt to painstakingly paint every blade, my grass looks stiff and very unnatural. Essence it is! Not only is this quicker, but my foliage ends up having much more depth and accuracy.
The muley doe feeding peacefully along the hillside is another one of those "can't miss" subjects. The well defined features and relatively light pigmentation of her face immediately draws the viewer's attention to the focal point... her eye. Her posture as she carefully nips a leaf from a prickly bush adds to the serenity of the scene.