Golden ThronePosted: September 10, 2021
The first time I visited the national parks in Utah, it was for work — enjoyable work because I had a commission to paint the parks — but work nonetheless. When we visited again this summer, it was for pleasure, and so I had time both to sketch and to hike at Capitol Reef, my favourite of the parks.
I brought my sketchbook and travel palette with me on a hike up the Golden Throne trail. The view of the rocks in the late afternoon sun was so spectacular and the light so dramatic that I stopped in a shady spot partway up the trail to sketch, and let the rest of the family climb up to see the view at the top. When I think back on it now, I remember sketching a bit frantically as I tried to capture the shapes of the peaks, the changing light and the plunging view. Ink and wash were the best way to work, considering the situation. Drawing in ink allowed me to rapidly suggest the many layers in the cliffs that are so characteristic of that park. The whole scene would have taken much longer if I had tried to do it just in watercolour with no ink.
I regret not adding an element to suggest scale in my sketch. Perhaps a car or a figure on the road below would have helped but it didn’t occur to me at the time. Sketched in a hardcover Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook, 9″ x 12″.