Putting a cobalt blue onto the grey sky really changed the nature of the painting, didn’t it. Next I’ll put a transparent layer of zinc or flake white over that blue to drop it back a bit. I’m not pleased with the quality of the surface at all, there are lots of bumps in the canvas there that I didn’t spot when I was preparing it. Letting the blue go into the mountains seems to have paid off, bringing them deeper into the background, while reworking the shadows, and adding some scraped on burnt sienna onto the sand is giving me some surface texture that I needed to find for the desert floor. I used a plasterers sponge with a rough top surface to give the paint a variable quality.
I added a layer of zinc white to the circle, and worked on the shadow of the white (ish) stones, then added white highlights to some of them to increase the sense of light coming from in front and to the left of the piece. Later I’ll need to add some blue into these stones somewhere to make them pop a bit.