Plein Air: Dana Peak Lookout

"Dana Peak Lookout Point" Acrylic, 6x12"(ish).  Some plein air practice under the sun.
“Dana Peak Lookout Point” Acrylic, 6×12″(ish). Some plein air practice under the sun.

17 days and counting until the big trip to the Appalachian Trail, so I got out an old rucksack, piled in 25lb. of rock (and art gear) and took off for a 5 mile hike at Dana Peak (Belton, TX).  It’s become my training grounds.  This wasn’t a day for quiet, peaceful moments, but rather a real leg workout up all the hills I could find, sweat rings on my cap, and battling the cotton-mouth from uphill lunges.   After finding three separate ways to get lost on a single hill, I saw this look out view.  Imagining the scene of the Smokey Mountains fading into the distance in delicate shades of blue-gray haze, this was perfect for practice.  Plus, it just rained, clearing out the stagnant look to the water and replacing it with a crisp cerulium blue almost like you’d see in the beaches of Hawaii. Almost.  Here’s a picture reference from the iPhone.

reference pic
reference pic

Looking back and forth from the reference pic to the painting there’s LOTS of room for improvement (drawing, values, perspective…).  That is a VERY GOOD thing!  It means I can get back out there, get lost again and next time nail this scene.  When I do get to that awe-inspiring morning sunrise on Clingman’s Dome or one of the balds with a 360-summit view, I’ll be there, paints in hand.  Can’t wait!

Made a few last minute changes before hitting the sack.

Last minute changes.  I like em.
Last minute changes. I like em.

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