Pikes Peak Oil Painting

| November 1, 2009
pikes peak sunrise oil painting

“Pikes Peak Sunrise” – 9×12, Oil on Canvas

Since I will be back to planes, trains and automobiles next week as I travel to Boston, New York and Baltimore, I wanted to complete a painting to keep some momentum going. The piece above a Pikes Peak oil painting at sunrise from yesterday morning as viewed from my house. I feel very fortunate that I get to see this every morning and try not to take it for granted. We literally get about five minutes of these colors just before the sun peeks over the horizon in the morning. “Purple mountain majesty” is no joke when it comes to Pike Peak at sunrise. Every day is a little different and the display of color is always satisfying!

When I got up to paint this, I thought I would try a Kevin Macpherson style of keeping it fairly loose, laying down color with confidence and then leaving it alone. After I started with a fairly accurate underpainting of highly thinned Rose Madder and Cobalt Blue, I focused on getting the general drawing right and then laying in relative values. I then mixed puddles of the dominant colors of the sky as well as the warm and cool colors for the mountain. I actually had fun painting this as I put down the color notes that I thought would lead to a convincing impression of our most famous mountain. I feel that I could have done a better with my edges but I did not want to overwork the painting, which I have a tendency to do. When I stand back from the piece it reads pretty well so I am calling it done!

I hope you all have a great week and I look forward to keeping tabs on your blogs while I am on the road. I really look forward to seeing what you are up to and it takes some of the edge off of modern day business travel.

In a last minute stroke of self-proclaimed genius, I decided to make a color panel for this painting. I am trying to be more disciplined about keeping track of the details surrounding my paintings in case I want to go back to a similar place in a future work. I used my flatbed scanner attached to my Mac make the pictures for this post. I find the clarity and color reproduction to be very accurate.

pikes peak sunrise painting colors

Main tube colors and swatches for “Pikes Peak Sunrise”

Category: Fine Art and Painting

Comments (6)

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  1. Dana Cooper says:

    I really like the way you handled the paint on this and kept it loose. It really works!
    You are lucky to have this beautiful view, it’s one my son in Colorado Springs also enjoys!

  2. Lee says:

    Thanks Dana. I look to your site for inspiration often, which helped me on this one. Cool to know your son lives here. I love it but must confess that your pics of California make me jealous sometimes!

  3. pam says:

    This is strong. I think you captured it. We don’t get this view, our house is on the westside and we look toward the plaina. You could do a sunrise series, kind of a Kevin Macpherson “life on a pond.” He has so much to share.

  4. Lee says:

    Thanks Pam. Had fun with this one. Sunrise series is a great idea. I am always amazed at the many forms the Peak take over the year.

  5. Liz Holm says:

    This is beautiful. Your combined discipline and loose style really pays off here. Stunning work.

  6. Lee says:

    Thanks Liz. I liked the impression in the end but still question the intensity of the colors. I think there will be more of this subject in the future with a variety of approaches. As always, I appreciate your comments. Hope all is well back east!