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"Graveyard Hill" is an acrylic on 18X24 in. canvas.  The ref photo is also attached.  The photo is my own and was taken about 12 years ago on the family farm near Frederick MD.  It was taken from the site of an 18th / 19th century graveyard about 1/2 mile from the house and barn.  

I made some changes.  First, I left out the fence, as much as I would have loved to put it in.  I thought that it would be a mental barrier to the viewer and not allow them to go beyond into the beautiful valley below.  I added cattle on the distant hill, and I made the horizon more fuzzy and obscure.  I left out the immediate foreground as I didn't think it adds to the composition.

I am very interested in your critiques. Thank you in advance.


I love this Mike! The color is delicious. I especially like the way you brought some sky color into the headstone as well as that warm peach. really nice.

The composition is great, too! You made great decisions leaving out the fence and adding the cows.

One area that I'm questioning is the sky. It's beautiful the way it is, but it takes up so much room in the painting, it feels like it should have a little more going on. I love the way in the photo you see the big cloud shapes close to us and they diminish in size into the distance. That adds a lot of depth which is nice. I also like the way the clouds in the photo are more dome like, which repeats the shape of the headstone nicely. Just a thought, you don't want to lose the nice softness you have there.

One tiny thing is that the top of the headstone is just touching the line of the distant brownish hill. That kind of thing tends to be distracting. You might want to raise the hill up just a tad there.

Check out the value on the houses in the distance. The white there seems to pop forward too much to me. If those were just a little darker I think you would be fine.

Thanks for posting Mike! I love seeing how you are growing! Beautiful painting!

i like the painting way more than i like the photo Mike! great job on the stone. love the distant cattle :) great addition! the flowers in the foreground are great. i think Karen's suggestion of a bigger, closer cloud at the top of the canvas would be a nice touch.

I think you have a  very colorful  interesting painting here Mike, the foreground rolling hills, cattle and distant hills are all great, I think Karen's comment on the sky is spot on.

I think it is worthy of a gallery.

Mike, I think you did a wonderful job with this.  I like the colors you have used in your sky and the way they complement the yellows in the grasses.  Nice way you have repeated the colors on the headstone.  I have read the other comments and cannot add anything, but I had to comment anyway because this is such a striking painting. Impressive work.


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