Lake Dillon, CO

We made another quick escape from the heat and headed up the mountains to Lake Dillon in Frisco.  We got the last available campsite for the nights that we needed at Peak One campground. We would highly recommend this campground  since we had a beautiful camp spot with views of the mountains and were close to lots of hiking, biking and access to the lake.  We were there for two nights and three days and were able to get in a few nice hikes, a bike ride around most of the lake, a few get togethers with some friends and a bit of artistic time as well.

The lighting for the first two days was very flat and did not inspire me to paint so instead I decided to focus on some watercolor pencil sketches.  I am currently teaching a watercolor pencil class via zoom to a few people and as they always say, “The Best Way to Learn is to Teach”.  In my class we have been discussing how to draw a tree by looking at its massing, shape or leaf/needle groupings.  I decided to analyze the tree nearest our campsite and draw it.  It was dusk, and I only had about 30 minutes to draw which was great, because it really forced me to look at the tree and capture its essences quickly. 

One of the students requested drawing rocks as our next assignment so I spent the following morning drawing a large rock in our campsite.  Again, it was a great lesson for me to step back and really look at the shape, coloration, veining etc. 

So here are the two studies that I completed.

The last day was absolutely beautiful.  We went on a morning hike, packed up the trailer and drove over to the day parking access area so that I could spend the next few hours painting on the lake.  The winds were up, so the water was a bit choppy and I had to be careful with my easel.  It is always a bit of a challenge when you are painting on a warm and windy day since the paints dry very quickly both on the palette and the canvas.  Ross was able to enjoy some reading time on the beach and Buddy loved playing in the water and contemplating life (see the picture below).

This painting was a particular challenge for me since there were so many variations of green in one scene.  Greens are notoriously difficult for painters because they can become either garish or too similar in value.  I had to mix several different green mixtures and had to grey them down as well, but ultimately I think the painting turned out to be a success. 

It was another great few days escaping reality and now it is time to plan the next outing.

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