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…

Color study of a mountain stream, take 2

“Cool and Crisp 2” 6×8 oil on canvas panel I painted this same scene in my last color study, and once it was complete I saw potential for different approaches to the same subject. I reworked the thumbnail sketch and value structure, and chose an entirely different color palette. I’m so much happier with this version of the painting! With the first one, I tried suggesting a cool and crisp atmosphere with the cool color palette. But it felt very unbalanced to me and I realized I could still suggest this feeling by incorporating warms into my colors. I like…

Analogous Complementary color scheme study

“Cool and Crisp” 6×8 oil on panel I’ve been scouring my landscape photos for more interesting compositions — something other than the horizontal bands I found myself repeating lately. This scene was from a photo I took at the Grand Tetons National Park. It’s Schwabachers Landing, a peaceful wildlife habitat that’s a popular photography spot. Our trip to the Grand Tetons was one of my all-time favorites. It was so beautiful there I didn’t want to leave! For this study, I chose an analogous complementary color scheme to work with: blue, blue-green, green, and red-orange. Since it was a cool…

Square tetrad color scheme study

“Blue Ridge Vista” 6×8 oil on canvas panel Last fall we camped in Boone, NC, and drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were a bit too early for the full colors of autumn, but things were just starting to turn. We stopped along the road and I snapped a photo of the Blue Ridge Mountains that stretched back to the horizon. I thought it would be a fun study to capture the blue-green of the mountains as they’re affected by atmospheric perspective. I followed my planning worksheet again for this one: thumbnail sketches four-value plan two-value notan thumbnail color…

Painting with a tertiary triadic color scheme

“Secret Light” 6×8 oil on panel After doing my series of two-color studies of this scene, I wanted to take it to a finished painting. But instead of just two colors I selected a three-color palette: a tertiary triadic scheme made of yellow orange, blue green, and red violet. The paints I chose were yellow deep, viridian, and ultramarine violet. Like with the last painting, I started with making a plan by sketching some different compositions, value thumbnails, and a notan. Doing these series of thumbnails and notans lately has been good for helping me look at compositions more critically….