School's out for Presidents' Week, so we spent a few days up in Lake Tahoe with friends and family. Everyone went skiing but I opted to go painting instead.
This first one was done on the side of the highway, around 2:30 - 4:30pm. It was fairly warm (50F) until the shadows reached me. Then the temperature plunged. But I had most of it done by then so I didn't suffer too much.
The foreground is actually a golf course. Boring to look at in the summer, but right now it's pristine and gorgeous. Gotta love those bright blue cast shadows!
Next morning, I drove around the East side of the Lake, into Nevada. I'd forgotten the difficulty in finding painting spots around Lake Tahoe; There are plenty of views, but parking is a big problem. To find a spot which offers both view and parking is a real chore.
I was getting more and more frustrated as I drove around. It got to a point where I just told myself to find any place I can park, and I'll paint whatever's there. If it's a bunch of thick pine trunks or a garbage can, so be it.
I was faced with this view of the town below - not the easiest thing to paint - in fact it was kind of intimidating. But I had promised myself I'd paint it, so I did. There's no trick to painting these types of views. You just have to take your time to get your drawing right, and make sure to pick out a few elements which are recognizable. Easier said than done, but there's no way around it!
I'm glad I tackled it, though. To watch a picture emerge from a bunch of fuzzy blobs was very satisfying.
After the last sketch, which was pretty complex, the pendulum swung in the opposite direction and I painted this view. The simplest statements often has the most impact, and this is a good example, I think.
I was actually trying to get to Fallen Leaf Lake, but I found the road closed for the season. I parked the car on the side of the road, contemplating what to do. I looked over my shoulder, and I saw this dark creek running through the meadow. I thought, well, that's kinda zen...
Later that afternoon, I headed over to Emerald Bay. This is a view of the rocks above the Bay, seen from one of the turnouts along the highway. The afternoon sun gave me a great pattern on the boulders but it was getting cold quickly so I rushed through the sketch. I really like parts of it, but I'll have to work on it some more to bring it to a satisfactory finish.
All in all, I was pretty happy with the set of sketches I got done during these few days. I was really feeling the need to paint outside after my last sketching trip with da guys. Guilt often drives me where inspiration is lacking. But in Tahoe, there was no shortage of either, and I had a good time painting away on my own while my family skied away~