In the Forest, Fillius Ridge - Colored Pencil Drawing

"In the Forest, Fillius Ridge" Colored Pencil

It is the middle of winter in the Colorado foothills and Fillius Ridge is the spiny crest of a steep, forested hillside. The rugged scene is another study in contrast involving opposing shapes, edges and values.

The forest interior during the winter is one of the most austere places on earth erecting a severe barrier from the rock, ice and fallen lumber found in a forbidding wilderness. Life is a struggle on the lofty rim where plants, trees and animals struggle to survive this season of gloom.

The flickering landscape makes a gradual transition towards abstraction as the indistinct edges of the lodgepole pine melt into the morning sky. The dark mood is alleviated by a trickle of pink light that gradually seeps through a web of tangled branches and needled foliage.

It is a natural patchwork of analogous colors where white highlights streak across the cliff’s snowy surface. The sharp angles of the deep, blue shadows convey action and dynamic movement that spread across this unique drawing.

The murky silhouette of pine trees suggests the impenetrable fortress of a dense woodland. The somber palette is layered over a warm undertone that permeates throughout the entire piece, unifying the intricate composition.

The depiction of this coarse environment is meant to express the stern beauty of a snowstorm’s aftermath. Just like the sun’s first rays breaking through the black of a long night so will the forest’s icy tones surrender to the fiery mosaic of summer.


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