Would like to see how others would handle this panorama.  My reference photo was taken many years ago when the farm was still in the family.  Landscapes are my comfort zone and I have fun doing them.  I did the sky over several times before I was satisfied somewhat (still not my best sky).  I tried knife work in the immediate foreground to give me texture.  My palette included cerulean blue, pthalo blue, cad yellow med, cad yellow light, cad red medium, cad red light, and of course titanium white.  UPDATE:

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Hi Mike!

I love your foreground texture. The knife is really working for you! I like the addition of the birds, it gives us a nice focal point.  

I would say I think your darks in the background, the hills and trees are a bit too dark to give us that distant, hazy feeling. What I really like about the reference is that layer after layer of hills and trees, transitioning from lighter, bluer and more neutral to darker and more chromatic as you move to the foreground. 

I think your sky is pretty, it is very rich in color. Having both the sky and ground so colorful makes them kind of compete with each other, if you see what I mean? In your reference, both sky and ground are kind of equally neutral - not very splashy colorwise. So if you want to choose the sky to be the focus, I would make the ground more neutral in color. And then add more interest in the sky with subtle shifts and blends of color if you wanted to.

In any case it's lovely as it is! I do see where you have added some of the sky colors into the foreground to harmonize - I love that! I love the foreground in general! Nice job!

And thanks for sharing Mike, I love to see how you are progressing!

Thank you Karen.  I have chosen to neutralize the dark greens and give it a more atmospheric look. My sky will be the focus, in which I will add some more color.  Thanks for your advice.

Always my pleasure Mike! I look forward to seeing the outcome!

When I knocked the mountains and fields back, and added more drama to the sky, the geese and "gap" became more prominent.  As always Karen, thanks for your spot-on advice.

Great job Mike! Now you got a lot of distance there...Can see for miles. Love your sky and colors!

Thank you Mark.

Wow! Huge difference Mike! From just some subtle changes! This time my eye knows right where the focal point is and the whole scene feels integrated. Really nice!!

Hi Mike.  I did not see your post in time to respond here, but I wanted to add a comment.  I love this painting - the beautiful sky, the birds flying, the colorful grasses in the foreground. We all learn from the postings here so I appreciate that you shared this while you were working on it.  I hope this one gets framed and hung in a prominent spot as it is a beauty.

I wonder about "the gap" - is it Smith Mountain?  My sister lives on Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia and I have taken a few pictures of the gap between Smith Mountain and its neighbor as it has beautiful lines and I have admired it often. It looks similar to your painting, so I wondered.....


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