I think the photo reference is cloudy. I was trying no forcing myself to get distance in the painting and paint more muted. I still think I'm off on values because there is not a lot of contrast. Where have I gone wrong? Those forms in the foreground are supposed to b rocks.


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Ooh, I love this image! And I love what you are doing with it!

I love your foreground rocks - all the pinks and purples and blues are really interesting and inviting1

Here is a little photoshop adjusting to give you some ideas

So something to think about when it comes to adding distance. First you were right on track making things bluer back there! Another important part of distance is that things get softer, more blended.

In the image above I just washed over the area with a slightly more neutral blue. See how blurring that out pushes it back? Your painting has a similar treatment as far as the crisp edged brushwork throughout the painting. That makes it seem like everything is the same distance from us.

Then I made the evergreen on the left darker and greener. Because it is closer. Now there is more of a separation of the different trees instead of them all being a similar value

It's helpful to me to think in terms of lining things up so you will have light areas against dark areas. So now that the evergreen is darker, the orange trees can pop more - I also pushed their color a tad lighter and less neutral. As you come forward, your colors become more vivid. This creates depth, too! So many tools in our toolbox :)

This is an overcast kind of day - which means cool light. You show this very nicely with all the lovely cool colors on your rocks. They are facing up to the sky, so are going to be influenced the most by the sky color. I love them! So, cool light means warm shadows! (warm light gives us cool shadows) Sooo, I've moved your dark shadow color more toward a purple, which is warmer than a blue because it has red in it...

Then I just added a few more of the pinkish leaves or flowers in the foreground. I was doing that just to try to create the area of the rocks and flowers as the center of interest. So there we would have the most vivid color, and the most dark/light contrast...

Does that help any?

Thank for posting Madeleine!

OMG! That is an amazing improvement! Your comments are awesome and so helpful. A few changes and so much better! Thanks. Wow!

i just love the rocks Madeleine! thanks for posting. we all learn from these discussions.  i think the colors you used are very nice. 

Thanks. I will b posting a revised painting thanks to Karen. So much to learn!

Here is an update from Madeleine:

Thanks so much for your suggestions! I have done a great effort to implement the suggestions from Karen and hope I have learned a lot! What do you think?

I love it Madeleine! I see the depth now and the trees have some separation from each other. An interesting, inviting, colorful little painting! Really well done!

Also, I moved your update to this original thread so we could follow along on the process...

Thanks for sharing this!

Awesome :)

Awesome painting Madeleine and awesome critique Karen.  Thanks to both of you!


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