Wednesday, August 25, 2021

A Morning in the Mountains

 It's been a long time since I've visited the mountains, over a year I think, I decided it was about time to make another visit and I took my sketchbook.

I went up Big Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains. One of the nicest things about living in the Salt Lake Valley is the mountains are a short drive away no matter where you live in the valley. There's a downside however, it means these mountains are very heavily visited.  Really the only good time to go to the canyon is early in the morning on a weekday.  I left home shortly after 7:00 and arrived at the Mill B trailhead about 7:45 and already the parking lot was 3/4 full. I wasn't planning on hiking the trail, I just wanted to get up to an interesting section of the creek and sketch it.

art charcoal sketch creek big cottonwood wasatch utah

I don't think you could call this a waterfall but rather just an especially fast and rocky section of the creek.  I decided to go with charcoal for my sketches today.  I used my Stonehenge sketchbook which turned out to be difficult to erase so my usual techniques didn't work as well.

art charcoal nature sketch waterfall creek

After the creek sketch I decided to got to the top of the canyon and take a walk around Silver Lake. I got to the parking lot before 9:00 and there was plenty of parking and I saw few people on the trail.

charcoal art sketch silver lake nature

I changed my process slightly for this sketch.  I started by applying a large amount of vine charcoal since it's easy to erase and then used an eraser to create the lighter areas and then went back in with compressed charcoal to reinforce the darks.

charcoal nature sketch silver lake utah

After finishing my walk around the lake I sat at a picnic table and sketched the bottom part of a large evergreen tree that was next to the trail and close to the picnic tables.  It was now after 10:00 and the parking lot was full and there was many more people, so take note, make sure you visit Silver Lake before 10:00 in the morning.

nature pine tree charcoal sketch

evergreen tree nature art sketch

I don't know why I've stayed away from the mountains this year, there's just no excuse.  This was a very enjoyable morning, I need to make sure I make it up again at least a couple more times before the snow flies.  Here are a couple more photos for your viewing pleasure.

Silver Lake nature Big Cottonwood Canyon Brigham

Chipmunk animal nature wilderness

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