The Great Blue - Colored Pencil Drawing

"The Great Blue" Colored Pencil

It’s late summer in the foothills and a great blue heron is hunting quietly along the shoreline of Evergreen Lake. The chaos generated by the passing storm from just minutes ago has receded and a peaceful calm has overtaken the watery habitat.

The bird’s image is mirrored on the surface of the smooth reservoir just as the undulating landscape is a reflection of the billowy sky overhead. Above, a churning wave of bulbous clouds streams across the troubled firmament while below, a sea of tussled grasses rushes into the lower marshland.

The meadow, lake, mountains, forest and sky are described similarly so as to unify these elements into a coherent whole. The shared color and soft shading transcends the harsh reality into a more pleasing aesthetic.

The dim light knows no boundary so a certain murkiness pervades the entire atmosphere, narrowing the range of hue and contrast. The somber palette is relieved by a few flecks and passages of pure orange, creating subtle vibrations of complementary color.

Layers of pigment create a stippled texture that covers the entire surface from top to bottom. Tiny hints of the pale surface buried underneath still show through giving a slight sparkling effect to the finished piece.

The background peaks form a melted skyline that is just beyond the reach of outstretched pine trees. The surrounding woodland’s ragged edge descends all the way down to the lake’s steep banks.

The sweeping folds in the sky are a woven tapestry of embroidered colors based on slate and ochre. Ribbons of grass are matted to the furrowed terrain that radiates throughout the lower foreground.

An isolated bush occupies this frontal space, its dark shadows undercutting the suggestion of lush foliage. Its simplified form is loosely defined by an irregular contour of lost and found edges.

The reservoir’s placid surface is the result of a calm void left in the wake of passing bad weather. Once the turbulence subsides, the local inhabitants re-emerge trading dampened spirits for a more lively resolve.

Even though it’s not warm and sunny, a dreary day sometimes displays a certain beauty not observed under any other circumstances. The falling rain is a connection between heaven and earth where the much needed moisture cleans and nourishes the landscape as well as the soul.


  1. Hi Dan! Im Dana from Twitter miss ur posts there...hope u will be back

    1. It’s so nice to hear from you. I’m still hanging in there, trying to get some artwork done when I can. I have been really busy with work and family obligations. I hope all is well with you. I appreciate you checking in here. Thanks so much! ~Dan

  2. Great color in this drawing. Also nice depth by putting warm colors in front and cool in the background.
    This is Dustin

    1. Thanks! I finally got it done. I started this one last summer. It is at the lake after a thunderstorm. It was a pretty awesome scene but I had a difficult time trying to translate it into a drawing. I hope you guys are doing well down there. We are in the midst of an eternal winter. ~Dan


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