30 Days of Value Thumbnails – Day 17

mini painting color study Yellowstone National Park May 15 2019
Mini color study, “Darting Through”, 3×4 oil on paper

I did a study of this same location on Day 4, just with a different cropping. With this one, I expanded the view to include distant tree-lined mountains and a tiny bit of sky. I wanted to study creating depth by changing the value, intensity, and temperature of the greens, and also work with a cooler/overcast lighting situation. So I experimented with dulling and cooling a lot of the colors.

The main indication of depth in this reference photo is the diminishing size of the trees as they go back in space. Otherwise it’s largely flattened out. Making the value thumbnail allowed me to add separation to the layers of mountains and send some to the back by making them lighter than the closer mountains.

This was also a great exercise for simplifying a busy scene. All of those trees begged me to paint them individually! It would be fun to paint this scene with different lighting situations, like a bright mid-day glare, or an autumn afternoon.

Reference photo from Yellowstone National Park
Value thumbnail of simple shapes
Black and white value check of my color study