30 Days of Value Thumbnails – Day 13

mini painting color study shrubs with morning light May 11 2019
Mini color study, “Reaching Light”, 3×4 oil on paper

My mission to work faster on these mini studies still needs work, but today it wasn’t brushwork or details that tripped me up — it was color mixing. And I believe the biggest reason is that I’m trying to imagine what colors would match up with the scene where I took the photo. Which is just going to be impossible, at least without having a color study from the location to reference.

I’ve been devising a plan to help with that though! I’m hoping to start a plein air challenge in the next week or so that should give me several intensive weeks of experience getting more familiar with the landscape and work on several painting (and seeing) skills:

  • See colors better
  • Understand what colors and values appear in shadows
  • Read color temperature better
  • Paint a better sensation of light
  • Learn to work quickly and efficiently (no time to fuss)
  • Improve ability to translate photos into interesting paintings
  • Study the effects of light
  • Create reference for studio paintings
  • Record the impression of what my eyes see in real life
Doing this mini study showed me that two areas are competing for attention: the little bit of road that travels behind the bushes, and the sunlit side of the bush near the center. I’d want to adjust that in the future. 

Reference photo from a local park

Value thumbnail of simple shapes

Black and white value check of my color study