East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

November 2007

New Road and Treeline

I thought about putting a road on a high shelf along the edge of the quarry ... maybe to help imply that the scene goes back into the distance, maybe to distract the full focus of this part of the backdrop from just being on the quarry itself. The widely spaced rotten fenceposts would do little to keep a truck loaded with stone from going over the edge. They are mainly there to imply that the road continues around the corner out of sight.

I started working in trees in front of and below the existing treeline, which will give me more flexibility as to how high the 3-D scenery will be.

Broom straw and other weeds have grown on the embankment along the road

Working trunk and limb detail into the new trees.

Finishing Cove Quarry

Some washes of thin white and chalky neutrals softened details and "knocked back" the quarry into the background

Sharp edged, contrasty hightlights and shadows on the rock piles along the bottom of the scene bring them forward so they appear to be closer.

Since there is no longer a hidden track running under the scenery along the wall, I think I will lower the profile of the scenery where it meets the backdrop. This will require the trees on the backdrop to extend further down. I have painted in an isolation coat of light tan where the new trees will be.

Cove Quarry taking shape

I painted in a distant hilltop and the trees around the quarry. Then I printed out photographs I have taken of abandoned soapstone quarries to use as color and value references for painting the quarry. I wanted to show a support bulkhead of stone in the quarry. Soapstone quarries would often have these "walls" of stone left in place to support the walls of the quarry as it was cut deeper.

Since this quarry exists entirely on the backdrop, there will not be an actual "hole" that you can look down into, so I am painting a long, low stone pile across the front of the scene to prevent being able to see down into the quarry.

I added some fissure lines in the rock face to illustrate the "grain" of the stone.