Mt. Shuksan

Mt. Shuksan, in the Baker National Forest of northwest Washington is one of the most photographed mountains in the US.  Generally the photographer takes it with Picture Lake in the foreground to produce a spectacular reflection.  I chose to use a view from the Chain Lakes Trail about 2 miles to the west.  I was impressed with the interesting shapes of the large rocks in the foreground, especially the large boulder of volcanic breccia that serves as the focal point for the painting.  These boulders and the nearby ridges are composed of recent volcanic rocks from the active Mt. Baker volcano that lies a few miles behind the viewer.  Mt. Shuksan itself is much older consisting of Jurassic (150 million year old) Shuksan greenschist derived from submarine volcanics and sediments.

I took several photographs of the area on a hike a year ago that served as the basis for the painting.  Initially I made a quick watercolor 14 x 21 inches to test how the clouds would work partially obscuring Mt. Shuksan.  I was dissappointed with this (see below) in that it hid too much of the mountain and glaciers. 


The final painting, a 24 x 36-inch acrylic on watercolor paper, shows Mt. Shuksan much better.  Here is the final painting.

Posted by: lknight
Posted on: 2/16/2009 at 8:08 PM
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Categories: Landscapes
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