Colorado Mining Museum Oil Painting

| January 13, 2010
cottage oil painting

“Mining Museum” final painting – 9×12 Oil on Linen

After struggling to paint the dormant cottonwood trees that are at the location of the Colorado Mining Museum, I decided to replace them with evergreens. Unless I decide to move to the deserts of the Middle East, I need to spend some time learning to paint a variety of trees. I liked the look of the house but was alarmed by the fact that the painting was going to go downhill fast because I do not have enough experience painting trees…especially dormant ones with tons of branches and virtually no easily defined masses to cling on to. The evergreens were easier to pull off and I think they blend nicely with the subject. This exercise falls under Richard Schmid’s rule of not letting the painting be the boss of you. We are the painters and have the authority to do with it what we please. In honor of lessons learned, I plan to do a series of studies of trees from Schmid’s book as well as from life. I really don’t want to be caught off guard again, liking one part of a painting and not being able to finish it to my satisfaction!

Category: Fine Art and Painting

Comments (7)

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  1. AutumnLeaves says:

    This is so very lovely! Both the house and setting look like those I have seen occasionally in my area. There is a bit of mystery to this place as I find myself what kind of lives have been lived behind those windows. What a great job, Lee!

  2. Lee says:

    Thanks Sherry. Funny you should mention the mystery surrounding the house. Although the house is part of the mining museum it has an abandoned feel to it, which has evoked questions in my own mind about its history. I am thrilled that you got the same feeling from the painting. From what I have studied, that it what painting is about!

  3. liz holm says:

    The trees look great, Lee, and best yet, really support the painting of house. I like the lovely shadows on the house, too. great color. Glad you’ve opted for tree study in lieu of relocation. 😀

  4. Randy Saffle says:

    Great job. How much more time did it take you painting with this process?
    Would you still give this method a thumbs up?

  5. Lee says:

    Hi Liz! Thanks for the comment. It would take more than a painting challenge to relocate for sure!

    Hello Randy. The underpainting probably added 50% more time. I am kind of slow anyway so I am sure more seasoned painters would move a little quicker. The method definitely gets a thumbs up. It not only kept the drawing on track but also served as a nice undertone for the piece. For instance. The underpainting became the light for the trees and the primary glow for the foreground. I plan to explore this more in future work.

  6. Susan Roux says:

    Maybe its just a personal preference and perhaps you prefer not to have suggestions, but if you’d like to hear my opinion, contact me.

    I have one small suggestion that I think would improve an already wonderful painting. I am a teacher and helping people adjust their works is what I do. I totally agree. Your house is beautiful!

  7. Lee says:

    Hi Susan! I am very much a student in my fine art pursuits and would be thrilled to hear your suggestions. I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to offer your ideas. Suggest away!