The painting is my first attempt at using values to denote distance. The reference photo is one I found doing a web search. I used the reference photo for a good general idea. The two notable changes between the ref and the painting is the exclusion of the cable car, and I changed the bland mountain view in the for front and replaced it with a valley using a blend of green and gold.

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Hi Russ!

You are getting the idea here! Bluer/greyer and lighter as you go into the distance! Nice job!

Then as you move forward into the foreground you will have more contrast - lighter lights and darker darks.

You want to make this shift gradually, so the most contrast, and the richest color is in your foreground.

As it is now you have a very bright green hill in your mid ground... That rich of a color would be better to save for closer up.

It looks like maybe you were going for a sunlit area and a shadowed area in front? The question to ask yourself is, what direction is the light coming from, then think about the shapes of the mountains. Which planes - or surfaces - would be getting more direct light and which would be more in shadow?

So instead of the spots of lighter area that you have, you want to think in terms of larger shapes. For example, squint at the green mountains in your reference photo in order to ignore all the detail. If you do you will see the larger shapes of light and dark areas. If you focus on those larger shapes, instead of individual tree shapes, you will get more of a feeling of sunlight and depth.

Hope that makes sense! Thanks for posting! I look forward to your progress :)

This is my second attempt, and for now, last attempt at "Blue Mountain View. Over all I am pleased with the results. I did attempt t do some layering to gain additional effects of the picture.

I wanted to use a blueish green to transition from the blue distant mountains to the green mountains in  the forefront. The underlying coat of the mid-range mountain is a warm grey. I then used a blue, titanium white, and grass green to achieve a blue green transitional value/ color.

I hope you like it.

Hi Russ!

You know, trying to nail those value changes in a scene like this is really hard! Don't feel discouraged! And then when you add color into the mix it gets even more complicated.

That's why I like to start a painting by doing some color mixing to find the values and colors I need. And then start with a simple block in on the canvas of those colors. Big, simple shapes with no detail.

Always trying to go from Bluer and lighter in the distance to warmer and darker as you move forward. This is because of "Atmospheric Perspective" Which means we are looking through layers of air, with moisture in it, as we look into the distance. So the warm colors disappear first, reds, yellows oranges - until in the distance you are just left with a blue grey. What can be deceiving is that our mind wants to tell us that a hill is green that is in the distance. Because we know it is! But what we are looking at is really much bluer than we think.

Here I've taken your 2 paintings and the reference photo, and sampled out the colors in the mountains that are in each one. I thought you might find it interesting!

Also, I do have a course available, if you are interested, that works on this kind of layers on distance. It is a fall scene and so the colors are much warmer, but it might be helpful in practicing.

If you are interested, you can find it here:

And really, don't be discouraged! You are doing great! It just takes time and practice to train your eye, and to train your mind to get out of the way so you can paint what you are really seeing! :)

Hi Karen, Thank you for your response, and the color charts. Do not worry, I am not discouraged. I made the decision to not try this particular picture now because I find the color, and the scenery in the forefront to be a bit bland in color, and variety.

I realize that I am not a gifted natural artist, so anything I accomplish with paint and brush will be the result of hard work and trial and error.

I paint for fun, and if I enjoy it, then I am accomplishing my primary goal.

You have that right Russ - enjoying it is the primary goal! The rest will come with practice - you are already on your way!


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