Monsoon Skies Over Perins Peak
pastel on black Strathmore
After finishing up a plein air piece I did from our trip to Andrews Lake on Saturday, I looked outside this morning, and saw these amazing cumulus congestus clouds building to the west over Perins Peak and the hogback.
So, I headed up to our top deck, set up my el-cheapo aluminum easel, and whipped this out. Being able to paint some skies is a nice (and needed) break from all the landscape greens, which start to wear me out after a pretty short period of time.
Clouds are the disciplinarians of location painting, to be sure. They wait for nothing and change rapidly right before your eyes...especially these potential stormclouds. So, they lend themselves to quick, gestural strokes to block in colors and shapes. I usually do little to no blending on this black Strathmore, but I did that for the clouds here. I think I was reminded of why I don't finger blend much on this paper...
I spent about 45 minutes on this painting, and by the time I was finished, the cloud had expanded to fill much of the immediate sky, had lost all of its sharp edges, and it was clear that rain was eminent in the La Platas to the northwest.
Here are a few photos taken during our PFH (painting/fishing/hiking) trip to Andrews Lake on Saturday afternoon, with emphasis on the clouds. I'll save the rest for the post that goes with the painting.
Soaring amongst the clouds
An osprey flies over Andrews Lake against a backdrop of clouds
(this was shot at 200mm, so everything is compressed as far as distance goes...the clouds aren't that close)
Into the sun
Some clouds that intermittently blocked the light during our short hike
Afternoon storm over the San Juans
These are the mountains just north of Silverton. It was probably raining in Ouray.
Spruce silhouetted against horizon clouds