Cedar Ridge

From Hermit Trail

From Hermit Trail II

Kaibab Juniper

from Kaibab Trail

Here are the charcoal sketches I mentioned in my last post.  I worked from photographs, using about a one-inch piece of compressed charcoal.  Each drawing measures about 12×10 inches.  The idea behind doing this step is to extract the essence of the place from the photo.  A photo often shows too much to be used in a painting.  I’ve found a lot of my creativity is lost by working directly from a photo, losing myself in trying to copy exact colors and details.  A painting should be filtered through me, to become a landscape painting that communicates my perception of the place.   I then paint directly from these sketches, making up the color as I remembered seeing it in person.  The sketches serve as a value study and a place to experiment with different designs, like moving a tree slightly or darkening a certain area.  To me this is an exciting part of creativity where I can use my imagination!