My husband and I love backpacking, and we have spent a lot of time camping in the Sierra mountains. This is a painting that I made from photos after one of our week long trips. We camped one night in the Big Five Lakes region of Sequoia National Park:
Still, 24″x 30″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals
I took some artistic license with this painting composition, since we didn’t actually camp on this rock (we follow Leave No Trace principles and don’t set up our camp too close to water) but I wanted to have the tent reflected in the lake. Instead, we ate breakfast here to watch the sun rise, and I knew I wanted to paint this scene when we got home. Here we are in our dorky camping clothes standing where the tent is in the painting; you can see the same peak in the distance.
I also changed the color of the tent (from my usual orange) to make it blend into the rock a little more. Here are some detail shots so you can see how I did the water and trees:
When I paint water, I tend to overblend the colors, but I realized while painting this painting that calm deep water has sharply defined reflections, not blurry ones. I used the same colors to paint the pink sky and water, let that dry, then added the black reflections on top. I made the water closest to the horizon lightest in color. I then used transparent Zinc White over top of the black to make the reflections of the rocks.
To make it look like light was coming through the trees, I used a thin mix of transparent black and yellow, graduating from darker to lighter from the trunk to the outer branches: