Friday, November 4, 2011

Making a Studio Painting of Mt. Adams

Erik Koeppel, "Mt. Adams"  32 x 48 inches, Oil on canvas

I'm almost finished with this studio painting of Mt. Adams in the White Mts. of New Hampshire. This was a breathtaking spot to see the sun go down, and with Mt. Washington (to the left under clouds) constantly experiencing severe weather it also shows incredible light effects.

Even though I didn't do any outdoor painted studies from this vista, I didn't use photographs to create the studio painting. Instead I chose to draw the location very carefully several times in pencil. By making a number of careful studies of the ridge-line, I set out to combine those with knowledge of light, color, and atmosphere that I've acquired from studying light effects like this many times (sun-beams bursting through clouds). I also modified the foreground quite a bit to improve the design. My main concern while painting the picture was to capture the beautiful memory of the light effects I witnessed while drawing there. Below are the sketchbook pages of Mt. Adams, as well as one of many studies I've done of sublime light effects.

Koeppel, NH Sun-beam Study from life

I always enjoy looking at historic precedents of the subjects I paint. Here are some 19th Century paintings of Mt. Adams courtesy of

Samuel Lancaster Gerry's Mt. Adams
H. H. Howe's Mt. Adams
Alvan Fisher's Mt. Adams
Thank you for reading.