30 Days of Value Thumbnails – Day 4

mini painting color study of Firehole Canyon Drive at Yellowstone National Park May 2 2019
Mini color study, 3×4 oil on paper

I’m mining the photos we took on our National Park trips for these thumbnails — this one is at Firehole Canyon Drive in Yellowstone National Park. The name of this drive kept making us laugh because it sounds so…aggressive or something, lol. The weather was cool and overcast, so I tried to capture that in this color study by reducing the contrasts of value and intensity. I gave this one a working title of “Moody River” to remind me to keep to these goals.

The canvas paper was toned with a light value of burnt umber, which can only really be seen in the dark tree mass on the upper right. I experimented with keeping that area thin and transparent because my darks (especially trees) have been so dull and muddy in my studies. I mixed a green of ultramarine blue and transparent yellow oxide, and mostly kept white paint out of the darks in that area. I do think it helped with the richness of the color there. Plus I didn’t do a block-in under that dark green, so it also probably helped with the luminosity of that area.

I loved how the foreground of the reference photo was nearly all the same value, but had color and temperature shifts where the water met the land. I swear I could do a whole study of just that area and have fun with it!

30 days of value thumbnails number 4 - reference photo Yellowstone May 1 2019
Reference photo of Firehole Canyon Drive at Yellowstone National Park

30 days of value thumbnails number 4 May 1 2019
Value thumbnail of simple shapes

Black and white version of the study to check the values of my major shapes