Balanced Rock is one of those classic Big Bend scenes and the short 2.2 mile hike out there is one of my favorites! I’ve sketched the rock many many times and it never gets old.

Getting to the trailhead requires a 6 mile drive down a dirt road — which is usually fine for most vehicles, but this time had some rough spots. The views start coming right from the start and don’t stop!

Here was my minimal sketch setup:

Gear list:

  • Pocket Palette and Demi Palette from Art Toolkit
  • Princeton Heritage brush
  • Arches cold press watercolor
  • A juice shot bottle to hold water

and that’s it!

One of my favorite things to do when painting this scene is to try and force some blooms where the rocks touch — not always an easy task when painting in the desert! I also like to exaggerate the colors of the lichens.

Balanced Rock, Big Bend National Park

Can’t wait to get back out there again!


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