Artist Roland Lee in Snow Canyon Utah

The sun finally came out with a vengeance, so I decided to hit the trails. On Saturday I did a little exploring in Snow Canyon, and soon discovered half the planet had the same idea. The parking areas were full, but once out on the trails it wasn’t too bad. I ambled up the Whiterock, Butterfly, and Hidden Pinion Trails stopping to photograph the wildflowers and do a little sketching. I came back with a sunburned neck, sand in my shoes, and a happy smile.

This long snake greeted my arrival to Snow Canyon. He didn’t seem too concerned about me, and since he didn’t have a rattle, I wasn’t worried about him either.

Wildflowers in Snow Canyon
A Yellow carpet of wildflowers covered the sand beneath the red cliffs.

Roland Lee sketch of Snow CanyonLeft: A quick study of “the Knuckles” on the West side of Snow Canyon. Below: Carrie, this sketch is for you. When you draw yuccas, pay attention to the light areas against the dark leaves. This is what gives them the characteristic look. Don’t make them look like pin cushions.

Roland Lee sketchbook drawing of Yuccas in Snow Canyon

Roland Lee painting of Yuccas in Snow Canyon

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Showing 3 comments
  • Gillian

    A beautiful study of light and shade – it positively glows.

  • Aparna

    Like others, I am in awe of your painting. I try to follow the art instructions you have posted on your site and find them extremely useful. Thank you so much for sharing the techniques. However, I cannot comprehend how you colour the thin blades of grass and hedges lighter in colour than the background. Whenever I try to define them I inherently do with a darker tone. Your soft shades of grass make them look so realistic. It would be very useful if you could help me in this regards.
    Many thanks & kind regards
    Aparna

  • Carrie Ruppe

    Thank you so much! The simple yucca is the star of this beautiful painting–you're so right, it is the light that makes it "live".
    I'm inspired.
    Thanks again,
    Carrie

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