Painting on location is one of my favorite things to do. I came across this scene in the Elk River Valley in Steamboat Springs Colorado. The ski mountains made an interesting backdrop for this ranch and the new hay bails were perfect. When I discovered this location it was getting late so I only did my drawing with the idea that I could return the next day to paint. This is always risky because the weather can be completely different but I was in luck when I returned and the weather and the sunlight were just what I hoped for.
I usually work rather small when painting on location because of the changing light and this painting is 6×8 inches. Color temperature is a very useful tool when painting landscapes and I used cooler shades of green for the distant mountains and then used warmer greens for the trees in the middle ground where the ranch buildings are located. The warm hay bails and grasses in the foreground helped that area come forward in the painting. I will be teaching a painting workshop in Steamboat Springs this summer and I look forward to going home again. If you would like further information on the workshop send me an email.