Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Making the 6ft. Painting, "Kaaterskill Falls", Part 1, Sketchbook

In the Summer of 2009 I spent most of the month of July sitting on a ledge halfway up Kaaterskill Falls in the Catskill Mts. making studies for this six foot painting, as a Hudson River Fellowship resident.  As I don't use photography in my studio paintings, I had to make many painted sketches and studies outdoors as reference for the large studio version. This became not just a process of collecting information, but a way of getting to know this beautiful site deeply. As I was painting, I would often pick up my sketchbook when I noticed something new to take notes. The following images represent a few of the many pages of my sketchbook related to the "Kaaterskill Falls" painting from studying the observable physics of falling water to surrounding plants and rocks. If you look closely at the sketches you'll see how many of them were incorporated into the finished painting. Because many of them were drawn from different positions, I had to use a lot of perspective and 'eye-balling' to organize the different elements into one cohesive space. Next post I'll show a series of painted studies I did from this site.


  1. Hi Erik, thanks for the follow in Twitter. I came upon your blog when I checked your profile. Your artworks are simply amazing! Looking forward to the rest of this "making of" series. I added a link to your blog from my resources page since this is great stuff for learning artists. Please keep up the good work!

  2. Thank you, Sarah and The Sponge, I appreciate your interest.

  3. Erik, this is so good to watch your process. Thank you for sharing this.
    You are so inspiring.
    Best wishes