Elk, 24" x 36" Oil on Canvas

When choosing subjects to paint, I like to find scenes that are lit up by early morning or late evening sun. The warm light produces cool shadows, and this interplay of warm and cool colors adds vibrant energy to the canvas.

I chose a vertical format for this image to increase the sense of high country elevation. The mountain ridge sweeps up and away behind the bull, receding into the shadows before it drops off into the next valley. Up towards the top, the tallest pines catch the first rays of warm morning sunlight. This bull has just stepped out of the shadows to announce his presence, firing off a warning signal to a competitor below.