Wrap-up of 30 Days of Value Thumbnails challenge

Studying value structures and composition with simple shapes, mostly from photos but a few plein air in the mix My 30-day Value Thumbnail challenge is complete! I’ve loved this project for so many reasons. Developing the habit of doing thumbnails to quickly see the strengths and weaknesses of the composition Great practice for breaking a complex subject down into simple shapes Got me more comfortable making decisions on the value structure of a landscape scene Gave me experience with troublesome or tricky value structures Taught me more about creating depth and atmosphere in a landscape Helped me appreciate the importance…

30 Days of Value Thumbnails – Day 30

Mini color study, “Long Stretch”, 3×4 oil on paper I liked how the fluffy clouds stretched all the way across this view, combined with the simple shapes of the tree masses and grassy areas. As I painted them into my color study, I realized they were shaped quite a bit like snow-capped mountains. One of my goals with this scene was to experiment with color mixing to get richer, more intense lights on the grass in the foreground. Sometimes my mixes get cooler and duller than I aim for and I wanted to try pushing it a bit. My eyes…

30 Days of Value Thumbnails – Day 29

Mini color study, “Soft and Fluffy”, 3×4 oil on paper I’m obsessed with mixing summer greens so I chose another photo from my pile that features trees and grasses. I also wanted to continue experimenting with cast shadows — making them more interesting and nuanced than a solid color, and making the color more intense where the shadow and light areas meet. For my block-in colors, I incorporated burnt umber and ended up with some violet-brown mixes that I really like. It helps bring some warmth to the predominantly cool temperature of the study. To create color harmony, I started…

30 Days of Value Thumbnails – Day 28

Mini color study, “Last Glimpse of the Sun”, 3×4 oil on paper Many of the country roads here in NC are thickly lined with trees, and always tempt me to pull over and take pictures when I’m out and about. But it’s often hard to find a good spot to pull over. One evening I was on my way home and the sun was setting, illuminating the sides of some trees and part of the gravel road with bright, warm light. Lucky for me there was an ideal place to park and jump out for a few shots. I only…

30 Days of Value Thumbnails – Day 27

Mini color study, “Sun Seeker”, 3×4 oil on paper At the park where I took photos recently, there’s a farm building from when the land was used for farming. I liked the way it was peeking out from behind this large tree, like it was trying to find the sun. With this subject, I wanted to play with the colors in the shadows being cast in the foreground area. Instead of just plain dark, cool green, I used several colors of the same value including a cool grey, red-violet, and green. And at the edge of the shadow, where the…