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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Colorado Landscapes Series: Cottonwood Gold

Last summer and fall I had Colorado Landscapes on my brain. Everywhere I looked I thought, "painting". On the 13th of last October my husband, Robert, my sister, Joan and I, were heading east on I-70 and had stopped at a gas station in Rifle. There were fall colors everywhere. The cottonwood trees were literally adorning this quaint little western Colorado town along the interstate. While they went into the store I grabbed my camera and made haste to capture these trees down by the river with my lens. The air was still but there was visual movement in their branches. Their colors added such drama; I was spellbound.
Stage 1: Using my photograph as a reference, I loosely painted in the lines of the trees freehand, focusing on the composition. From my photo there really wasn't much in the foreground and so I lengthened and exaggerated the grasses that I had in the photo a bit so that the painting would be more balanced.
Stage 2: Blocking in the green leaves with a thin layer of paint.

Adding in the golds and rusts.

Stage 3: After blocking in the trees I came back in with a second layer of thicker paint over the entire painting. I then alternated with a palette knife and brushes to get the effect I wanted.

Now it is time to let the painting rest and then make the final adjustments and changes in a week or so. Just looking at the photograph of the painting below, I already see things I want to change just a bit.

Cottonwood Gold
14 x 18", Oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson (c)2014

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