I got out for another day at Miller Springs to find another good scene. I think this has become a series now with four previous, recent plein air trips to the area. I didn’t have to go far this time. About a quarter mile at the start of the first ravine, I rock hopped down a bit into a area with boulders and trees. The sun was shining almost directly at me and give great back-lighting to highlight a couple of boulders. With the background cliff in the shadows, the highlights on the boulders stood out even more. I did a quick sketch of the scene to study the values (lights/darks) for 5-10 min, then started right into the painting.
Just as I started painting, a couple walked by and scaled down the 15 foot cliff face (impressive) I was perched on top of. I asked them if they’d mind climbing on top of the boulder I’m painting and they were happy to help! I took a quick reference pic and then they left, wandering on down the ravine, blazing their own path, carefree. I paused for a second and thought… rock climbing, bouldering and exploring with someone you love… I bet that happens a lot in heaven. I took another reference pic when they were passing through a picturesque area of the ravine., so it’s possible they be seen again here!
I painted the landscape of the scene in about 3 hours (below):
Then I got out my camera to look at the reference pic and put in the couple. The camera kept auto shutting off, so I ended up taking an iPhone pic of the camera screen, a pic of a pic. You gotta do what ya gotta do, right? It really gave a great sense of scale to the rocks in the area as well as a story, perfect for the day.
Usually, I feel a need to touch it up when I get home. I really felt the people deserved things like hands or feet, or even a shadow to show they’re not transparent ghosts. However, is just didn’t seem right to add anything later on. The story is told, it “feels” like the area and the even the day with all the new years resolutions to get outside being fulfilled. Another great day!!