Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Elk Lick Creek

I called the manager of the Floracliff Nature Preserve in Eastern Fayette County and they were gratious enough to give permission to visit the preserve, which harbors a multitude of rare and endangered species. An escort is required. We were led to Elk Lick Creek by Charlie the "CEO" and Deborah the preserve manager. It was a steep downhill walk on a very narrow trail.

Once at the creek we had permission to walk along it upstream and down and paint plein aire. I chose one spot which turned out to be a nightmare to paint plein aire but took photos, then walked downstream and got in an 8x10 study. Skies were overcast, but temperatures moderate, in the 50's. After 2 hours or so we ended our visit, happy to have quiet time and a peaceful, but spectacular setting.

Back in the studio I took the photos of the "nightmare" spot, and, working on a 12x16 canvasboard, did a full value painting to insure the result would convey the drama I wanted. I toned the canvas a midtone Burnt Umber, then wiped out the light passages down to the white canvas. After a couple of days making adjustments and letting it dry, I added color.


  1. Dan--love the "nightmare" spot. The name belies its resistance to being pleinaire painted! Love the design and how you lead us right back into the scene via the water.