|Colorado Trail Shadows|
12x12 inches - pastel on Strathmore Artagain
© 2012, S.Johnson
It's a section of the Colorado Trail (CT) as it comes up through a stand of aspen before a really, really steep section starts around the corner, near Molas Lake and maybe 50 yards from Molas creek (where Wayne was trout fishing).
Biggest issue: trying to mass the aspen leaf foliage in a way that was convincing by balancing busy masses of color with suggestions of leaf detail. Detail: I've sort of come to not like that word very much, and I fight with it constantly. But, it was just everywhere in this scene, just trying to drive me nuts.
Anyway, when I realized that I wasn't going to finish this on location, I shot some photos to act as a guide later. When I got home and downloaded them, I was stunned by how poor they were as a reference in comparison to what I was seeing while painting on location! I only really used them for a reminder of where a few things were supposed to go and basic proportions/values, rather than color.
It's a reminder to me of how important it is to try and paint on location when possible, at least sometimes, if your goal is to capture something representational as far as colors and such go. The photo itself would be just horrid to paint from. I also realized that I have the tendency to paint the lighter values (like the trail) much darker on location than in the studio - I need an umbrella!
Oh yes - happy Valentine's Day, everyone!