Snowshoe trip in Yosemite: Sunset on Snow

This painting is from a snowshoe trip to the Ostrander Ski Hut in Yosemite.  We hit bad weather and got to the hut close to midnight, but the next day, we got to snowshoe around the nearby lake and watch the sun set over this ridge:

Ostrander

Yosemite Sunset, 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals

For my painting after the trip, I wanted to combine the colors in this photo (actually from another winter trip):

IMG_0711

…with the composition of this ridge from the lake near the hut:IMG_0382

A great thing about paintings is that you can combine skies and foregrounds from different photos. I took the overall shape of the second photo and added more sunset color, to capture the colors we didn’t quite photograph at the right moment.

When painting a scene with a bright sky and grassy or planted foreground, I like to do the sky first and let it dry before adding the land.  With snow or reflective water, I find it’s more helpful to do it all at once, since you’re using mostly the same colors on top and bottom and you want there to be a lot of continuity.

This was another quick, kitchen-table painting where I didn’t plan the composition as well as I could have, but I had fun with it and it was a nice memory of our trip.

This painting is for sale in my Etsy shop as a photo print or canvas print.  You can also buy the original through my website.  The original is currently on display at Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View.

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