Autumn in My Studio

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"Mount Willard, Autumn," 20x40 inch oil on canvas painting of the view of Crawford Notch from Mt. Willard, New  Hampshire, by Rebecca M. Fullerton.
Autumn is upon us here in the White Mountains. As I write this the leaves are at their absolute peak color! We have had several brilliant fall days with crystal blue skies, clear air and a dazzling array of reds, yellows, and oranges in all directions. I've taken a couple of hikes to celebrate the season and took dozens of photos for later painting references.
One painting I have been working on for the last couple of months is the one above. If you follow me on Instagram (@rmfullerton), you may have noticed I climb one cute little mountain every month, winter or summer, rain or shine. Mount Willard, right in the heart of the White Mountains, offers the most bang for your buck in terms of scenery. The hike is just over a mile and a half up a trail that is not so steep as to be exhausting, and at the end you arrive at this spectacular view! 
I wanted to capture this view at the height of its fall colors, when the oaks and maples in the valley glow in orange and yellow. They stand out against the dark green balsam and hemlock that climb the steep sides of Mount Willey (on the right) and Mount Webster (left). 
After carefully drawing out the scene I worked in several layers, moving from darker colors and slowly building up through the lightest, brightest hues. The texture of all those trees is created by dabbing on tiny bits of color with a small brush, over and over again for hours at a time. As the leaves began to turn on the trees outside, the colors began to show, slowly but surely, in the painting as well. I had such a wonderful time painting this gorgeous spot. It *might* just turn into a series of the view in every season!

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