Who would have thought that a train yard could be so inspiring!

...for the snowy days that plein air work is not so available to me, I often look back to an experience that inspired me.  If you are ever in Green River, Wyoming, the train yard is incredible!  There is a pedestrian 'catwalk' over a dozen or so tracks.  The trains take off right under you, making their power unmistakable!  I was thrilled to see this 'shift change' as conductors left for the day while others came to replace them.  I never thought of myself as a train enthusiast, but I had a wonderful few hours observing the workings of this train yard!

charcoal trains
charcoal trains

 

I start all of my pastels with an under drawing in charcoal.  This allows me to set the values and see the full composition.  This procedure is extremely helpful while working plein air... but after many years in the field, I always do an initial charcoal drawing.  This piece is now ready for color... oh boy!