Just about finished with this painting "In High Places" 36"x36" oil on canvas. I've had this idea in my mind for some years now. There are probably three or four different photo refs in this one from pmp (sorry can't share without permission) and some just in my head (a dangerous place I know). Still could add some detail in the foreground.

The reason I'm posting in this critique discussion is that it is a value study in creating a lot of depth in a short distance of canvas (like the canyon floor). I wanted it to look like a Wylie Coyote long ways down. It's amazing how these sheep can climb or stand on next to nothing. Any feedback is more than appreciated, don't hold back, won't hurt my feelings lol. Or if perhaps it may help someone else, all the better...Thanks

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Oooh this is a beauty Mark! I love the composition! The colors are lovely as well. You did a really nice job on the sheep too. You've made some great choices with your shadow colors, I can really see the light!

I love the creativity that went into putting different images together!

One note on the PMP photos. You can post a link to the photos on PMP and we can view them there

For those of you that haven't discovered the website Paint My Photos, you should check it out! People post photos for artists to use as reference photos. Here's a link  https://pmp-art.com/

The biggest challenge in combining photos is getting a consistent light source and light color. Photos taken at different times of day will give you different direction and length of cast shadows. Different weather - cloudy, clear, misty, etc will affect the intensity and color of the shadows.

I'm getting a feeling of inconsistency here in the light. For example the two large rock formations on the right: The one on the left seems to be backlit. Shadowed on the front face with a rim of light. The one on the right seems to be lit from the left and the front. The formations on the left hand side of the painting are casting a shadow as if they are lit from behind and to the left. The distant rocks are lit on the front...

It feels to me that this lighting on the two large formations on the right is creating a lot of contrast, detail and warm color in that area. It draws my eye and competes with the sheep for attention.

I think you are showing the head and shoulders of the sheep in sunlight? Compare your treatment of the light there with your treatment of the light on the rocks. I think you could add some warmer colors and lighter values in the light on the sheep. This would make it feel closer to us.

Does that make sense? If not, let me know and I'll try to make more sense :)

All that said, it's a beautiful painting as is! Please don't feel like you have to change it!

Thanks so much Karen! and you are right about the lighting it was a bit of a struggle. I like your suggestion to add more warm light to the sheep.

I'll see if I can post a link to the ref photos here: https://pmp-art.com/carliewired/gallery/138931/kamloops-and-the-int...

https://pmp-art.com/carliewired/gallery/137330/canyon-de-chelly-nat...

Again thanks for your keen eye!

posting the link to the pmp photo is a great idea. i will do that too!

Wow, nice painting. It's crazy how goats and sheep can climb, places I don't even feel good looking at, lol.

My eye is drawn to the distant white peak first, then to the light mountains on the right....is that what you wanted?  Perhaps as Karen suggested, some more light on the sheep to grab us first?  Really like your "rock work" on the mountain the sheep is on.

Thanks Marion! My plan on leading the eye was from the rams head to the mountain peak, down the ridge to the canyon highlights down to the canyon floor, across to the right cliff then back up to the ram creating a circle.

You and Karen have a great idea of adding more light to the sheep...That's why he seemed to keep staring at me as if to say "you're not done with me yet" lol!

I appreciate your feedback!

Thanks! I see that shadow pattern on the rocks is just like the photo! I think it's confusing because the rock on the left is really thin? So the surface facing the sun is really small.

I also think they have increased the saturation of the color in the photo - so you have the really rich colors of the background contrasting with more natural colors in the sheep.

Yea, the rock on the left is a really thin sliver in comparison to the others. I do like it because of its uniqueness, but I will widen the highlight edge just to make more sense. (viewers won't be seeing the photo).

I think you're right about the color saturation. Mine are quite a bit more muted in comparison to the photo. On it's own the rocks would be a great main focal point, but....mine is the sheep...

So, I've warmed up and highlighted the sheep more as suggested (looks better already). I can also darken the sky in this area to make him pop a little more. With these changes and tweeks I think it will read much better.

As always thanks for your time and feedback!

dont you just love the feed back you get here Mark?! i love this place :)

Yep, I certainly do Wenda! Nice to know we can post links to pmp ref site. Above all, like yourself, I highly respect all the photographers there for sharing their work for us artist.

I'm putting more highlights and warming up the sheep now among other adjustments, and of course Karen and Marion were exactly right. Good to have some trained eyes. And thank you also for your comments, I highly value your opinion.

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