A Lifelong Journey

Categories: 2020 May-June Issue, Landscape, Oil, and Santillanes, Dave.

“Landscapes taught me how to paint.”

That is how Dave Santillanes describes his fine art training. The Colorado artist had earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in graphic design from Colorado State University, but had no formal training in painting until he began painting landscapes near his home after work and on weekends.

Today he has several awards under his belt, including first-place honors in the Signature Division of the Oil Painters of America’s recent online showcase. He also has earned awards at several plein air events, including Best of Show at the 2011 Crested Butte Plein Air Invitational and the People’s Choice Award at the 2010 Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters National Show.

Read the entire article in the May/June 2020 issue.

Desert Bouquet

24” by 30”

“To create the illusion of depth, I find it’s helpful to visually separate a landscape into shadow and light families before even beginning to paint. Then I’ll begin blocking in just the shadows, starting with the furthest shapes and comparing them only to other shadows moving forward. I want to nail down their precise color and value. If I’m successful, this becomes the foundation for the entire painting.”

End of Autumn

12” by 24”

“In the high country, the first snow always seems to fall before the autumn leaves do. That’s the case here in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park where winter has arrived.”