I had a great time in Lake Tahoe last week. I painted a couple plein air, but they need some adjustment in the studio before I consider finished. This is a studio painting of the north/east shore, on the Nevada side. The friends we stay with their have a speed boat, so we were able to visit lots of little coves accessible by water.
This was painted 100% by palette knife. I wished I’d taken interim photos, because I think it would have made a good demo. The painting is basically 4 bands of color, so I started it much like I would a Hensche still life, like this one. That is, large bands of solid color, with white in between. I keep the white there only because I don’t want edges to touch until I’ve worked out the basic color relationships for each block of color. With the four bands of color down, I continued to adjust the color of each band. When I got them right, I brought the edges of the color bands together, then started to model the objects within each band. For example, the rocks started as a medium value rock color. I then added shadow sides of the rocks (first scraping that area a bit to avoid creating muddy color), then mid-tones, light sides, color variation (warm/cool) within each rock and finally darkest darks. The same approach was used for the trees and water. The sky stayed relatively solid, although I did add some flecks of lighter blue/green at the horizon of the sky.
I’m in the North Tahoe Plein Air show next month, and a hotel and restaraunt in the area is interesting in buying some of my Truckee River work, so looks like I’ll be painting Tahoe scenes a few weeks now.
2 thoughts on “Lake Tahoe”
When this appeared in my email I literally squealed in delight when I saw the water. While I see the connection to the Hensche style, you’ve taken it a step beyond I think, with your boldness. Your color in the rocks is so sophisticated. At first look they’re very well painted grey rocks in light… but looking deeper I see the lavenders and pinks and blues, all greyed just a bit and bursting out of the water which feels like it’s moving and transparent. Brilliant work!
Thanks, Jana! Very encouraging. I have another one ready to post with figures.