Monday, May 2, 2016

Return to Sunol Regional Wilderness


Two weeks later, I returned to Sunol and hiked about a mile to this beautiful spot called Little Yosemite.  This time I brought my painting gear.

The weather was partially cloudy, yet there were dozens of people here.  Families were taking selfies with the falls as backdrop.  Kids were tossing sticks for dogs that thundered by my easel at full speed! 

As outdoor painters, we usually prefer solitude but we take what we get.  So I waited until there was a quiet spell and started working.  The photo at the left shows my setup.  I painted for about 2 hours until a strong wind came up, then it was time to go.

Little Yosemite Falls, Alameda Creek
The geology of Alameda Creek makes this place special.  The boulders contain minerals that are very colorful... notice the blues and greens in the rocks.  I was impressed with the color variety so I chose to emphasize what was already there.

When you're painting, scanning a scene again and again and recording what you see, it's a lot like doing reps at the gym.  After a while, you get pretty good at observing details.  But my aim isn't to copy, it's to convey the feeling of what it's like to be there.

I got all of the basic information I needed (composition, color and values) in my time there.  I used a reference photo to complete the painting in my studio.


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