Painting a day 2016-Day 7-Elk and Aspen

Day 7

Elk and Aspen-5″x7″

Day 7-another elk from the Rockies.  I’m continuing with the quick painting (1 hour or less), alla prima style (wet into wet paint-all in one sitting).  These little daily paintings are a way for me to practice sketching, work out color and value and just make me practice on a regular basis–forcing my hand to remember how to handle the brushes and make them work for me rather than against me.

This guy was trying to herd a group of cows and calves through an aspen grove one rainy morning.  There were other bulls trying to move in on his harem and he was having a hard time keeping up with everyone.  He was trying to get his group out to one of the open meadows, where, I’m guessing it was easier to keep them grouped and away from rivals–he wasn’t succeeding.

We had no idea just how many elk there were in that aspen and pine grove until they started moving through and trying to catch up to the rest of the herd.  It was awesome chaos for a bit accompanied by cows making little whining noises for their calves, bulls bugling and other bulls answering, and the sound of branches cracking and rustling as the large mammals moved through.  It was tough to capture photos during this time because of the tree obstructions, no worries, sometimes it isn’t about having a photo to remember the exact instance-sometimes it is about taking it all in and just filing away mental notes.  It is about closing your eyes and remembering the sounds, the misting rain, and the saturated colors.  enjoy.


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