I’ve always been drawn to mountains. I love the way the hills fade into the distance. I love the long shadows, the character of the rock formations, and the sunsets.

This scene depicts “The Sinks,” a semi-remote geological formation in Limestone Canyon, part of Orange County Parks. This area is about 4.5 miles from the nearest parking lot via a protected fire road. It’s well worth the trek, though, since the view is glorious. Ever since I saw it I’ve been wanting to paint a sunset of this place, so I’m very happy to have finally done so.

I’m a volunteer trail guide with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, and we do docent-led paint-outs in the back country. We load up in pickup-truck-turned-personnel-carrier, with 5 seats (with seatbelts, of course) lining each side of the truck bed. We went out here in the afternoon with a group of half a dozen or so.

The road was bumpy and steep.  It made for quite a fun ride. Our docent Monica did a great job navigating the worst of the potholes.


The drive up.

We passed through this great shady grove on the way up as well.  I could go back to this spot and paint more than one I’m sure.

Future painting location?


The view from the top is spectacular.  You can see some of the others in our group painting on the far left of this photograph.

The view from the top.  These panoramic images distort a little bit, but you get the picture. 🙂

I did a small plein air study, took a bunch of pictures, and then did this studio piece. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed painting it!

Click here to get this painting now, before someone else scoops it up!

Enjoy the video!

Dave Thibault