Plein Air: Colorado Springs, Red Rock Canyon at the Rim Trail


This is the second small 5x7ish plein air sketch I did at Red Rock Canyon after being at the entrance in the previous post.  You’ll see this view when going about a quarter mile up the main Red Rock Canyon Trail, then turning to the left to switch onto the Rim Trail. There is a fantastic view showing a line of weathered sandstone peaks showing both the lighter tan sandstone at the base, then the red sandstone at the very peak. It stands out against the distant mountain, a theme I love.  The moment I saw this, I found great sweeping, flowing gesture lines that lead to the peak of the rock formation in front. For example, the slightly lit grassy areas of the distant mountains, the rock formations leading up to it, the dark green pine trees surrounding it and even the sharp line of the main rock running up diagonally along the face of the rock… all leading the eye toward the peak. Needless to say, that little rock at the peak had be painted with just the right value and color to get the impact I saw.  It was a fun challenge that paid off. This is another scene I plan to scale up. Seeing it on at least a 24 x 36″ canvas will really have an impact. Can’t wait.

Here’s the reference view: (as you can see the light changed quite a bit by the time I finished)



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