James Niehues

James Niehues, hand painted aerial maps of ski resorts
James Niehues ia an artist based in Colorado who creates hand-painted aerial maps of ski resorts, golf resorts and other outdoor sporting sites.

He paints these at relatively large scale in gouache, using both brushes and airbrush, which allows him to give a high level of detail and texture to his largely mountainous scenes.

In the galleries on his website you will also find ski resorts in other parts of the US and internationally, as well as golf resorts. In addition, you will find aerial map views of mountain landscapes in warmer months and more traditional landscape views that he calls “scenic paintings”. (These are accessed from a not too obvious pop-out menu in the main navigation, or from a list in the page footer.)

Niehuse has a number of his images available as prints through ImageKind.


3 Replies to “James Niehues”

  1. Good post Charlie. This is one if those crafts that would be easy to overlook, except by the thousands who use them everyday, but someone paints it, and in gouache no less. I suppose someday these hand-painted maps will be replaced a digital version but for now we get these.
    Thanks for another unexpected find Charlie.

  2. THanks, David. I think this is one of those areas where painting (even stylus and tablet digital painting) will remain superior to CGI or photography. Niehues mentions that he used artistic license to rearrange some views so that outlying ski runs, for example, could be viewed within the main map area.

  3. Yes, I read the article and hope you are right. He talked about flying over and photographing and working from those to make the design. Incidentally I remember going to Mammoth CA years ago for a weekend ski trip and was fascinated with the map which is on the website. For me it was more than just informational.

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