To Our National Parks, Part Two

Last week I shared some personal memories about our national parks, and why I feel it's important to protect them. As an expression of that sentiment, I also mentioned that I'd decided to take an old print I'd made several years ago and hand color it in order to sell it for charity. This week, I'll show you the print that decided to finish.

As a refresher, here's the original print. It's based on a sketch I did around the Taggart Lake area in Grand Teton National Park.

I started with the background. Since it was dusk when I drew the original sketch, I opted for a palette of yellows, blues, and purples to suggest the fading light. Employing the principles of atmospheric perspective, I painted the mountain blue, since it was farthest away. As I moved toward the foreground objects, I started painting in the green needles of the trees.

I finished adding the bulk of the color over the next two nights. I didn't try to replicate the colors as I actually saw them, but instead used hues that would lead the eye around the composition while bringing a sense of unity to the scene. It was also around this time that I learned that HR Bill 621 had been withdrawn, uplifting news that undoubtedly influenced the warmth of my color palette. Knowing that so many people spoke up on behalf our parks is definitely good news.

On final night, I balanced out the values with gray washes, and added yellow highlights to the tumbling water to connect it with the sky in the background.

Here is the finished print:
 Here are some details:

Is it a sentimental view of the parks? Absolutely. But I wanted to convey how I feel about the places, not just what I see there, as these places do hold a special place with me.

I was initially going to sell this work right away, but I've decided to take my charitable art-making efforts for the parts up a few notches. Over the next few weeks, I'll be making new works for a GoFundMe page dedicated to our national parks, where you'll be able to choose from an array of original works. I'll keep you posted on these works and when they'll be available, but in the meantime, continue to support our parks. They're truly irreplaceable treasures.