Conundrum Creek

This is an oil painting from a long – and beautiful – hike up to Conundrum Hot Springs near Aspen, Colorado. I looked back up the mountain on the way down, completely soaked, and loved the view up to the top with the mist still swirling from the rain. Here’s the stages along the way:

This is the primatura, or underpainting. I roughed in the clouds very loosely and just put a reddish umber in the ground so I wouldn’t see that nasty white as I worked.
This is the beginnings of the scene sketched in with markers.
This is a sort of cartoon of the whole scene, a mixture of oil paint and marker sketch. It’s very rough, but gives me an idea of where to go.
This is a little further along. I am slowly going through and painting area by area – it usually takes me three or four passes of this before I can stand it. This is maybe two, and one in places.
Here’s the final painting. I left the edges a little loose and blurry on purpose here, wanting to draw the eye more in the middle where I was focusing at the time.

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